Jeremy Bowen reveals he has bowel cancerPosted on: 01 April 2019 by Gareth Hargreaves
BBC journalist Jeremy Bowen is undergoing treatment for bowel cancer after diagnosis late last year.
Jeremy Bowen, who has been BBC Middle East correspondent since 2005, experienced pain in his legs and back while working in Iraq last May. Despite presenting none of the tell-tale signs of bowel cancer, he decided to ask his doctor for a test and it returned positive for the disease.
Talking on BBC Breakfast he explained, "When I came back (from Iraq) I had to go to hospital for a couple of days, but they didn't mention cancer. They said it was to do with some scar tissue I had from some previous surgery."
"But I thought I should get a test, he continued. "so I went to my GP. I’d had none of the classic bowel cancer symptoms, nothing at all, so I thought I should get a test."
After diagnosis, Bowen underwent surgery to have a tumour removed and continues to receive chemotherapy, which he said "is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be in terms of side effects".
"I think I've just been quite lucky to tolerate it," he added. "The key thing is to get tested, I've told all my friends to get to their doctors for a test."
Symptoms of bowel cancer
- Bowel cancer is often painless in the early stages. The Department of Health recently launched a national ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign to raise awareness of the signs of bowel cancer and encourage people to visit their GP if they experience the main symptoms, which are blood in the faeces or loose stools for three weeks or more. There are other symptoms to be aware of, including:
- Weight loss without any obvious reason and/or loss of appetite
- Tiredness or breathlessness for no apparent reason – this may be caused by the small amount of blood loss from your bowel, resulting in anaemia (when there are too few red blood cells or not enough haemoglobin in your blood)
- Pain, or a lump or swelling in your abdomen (tummy)
Bowen said he hopes that by speaking candidly about his diagnosis and treatment, more people will be inspired to get tested.
"I have kept quiet about it, except to my nearest and dearest and friends and so on," he said. "If me coming on your programme (BBC Breakfast) means that a few extra people get tested and as a result get their cancers caught, then it's time well spent."
Share with friends
- General Health
- Women's Health
- Men's Health
- Alternative Health
- Eye health in later life
- Dementia care & awareness
- Your gifts in Wills power tomorrow's break throughs
- The A to Z of Lens Surgery for Over 50s
- NHS repeat prescriptions with free home delivery
- Help beat cancer sooner: Leaving a gift in your Will
- Care and carers
- Home & Lifestyle
- What's on
Related Blog Posts
28 Nov 2019How LED Lights Benefit Senior Citizen...
19 Sep 201910 Easy Ways to Live a Healthy Life
19 Jun 2019Is Mental Health Help for People over...