Jeremy Bowen reveals bowel cancer diagnosis

BBC journalist Jeremy Bowen has revealed he is suffering from bowel cancer but is staying positive.

The Middle East editor said he has had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour and is undergoing chemotherapy.

Bowen said he was diagnosed with the disease in October after suffering "funny pains" in his leg and back.

The experienced journalist, 59, told BBC Breakfast: "I'm a positive kind of guy.

"The chemo 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.

"You've got to keep positive about things in life. It's all part of the journey.

Bowen has urged others to seek testing for cancer in order to catch the disease early, revealing he did not suspect what was revealed with his own diagnosis.

He said: "I was diagnosed with it last October. I had some funny pains in my leg and my back, when I was in Iraq.

"When I came back 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.

"I went to my GP and I had no symptoms, none of the classic bowel cancer symptoms. I got a test and it came back positive.

"From that they found that I had a tumour. I had surgery to take it away. And now I'm having chemotherapy. The key thing is, get tested. I've been saying to all my friends, 'get tested'."

He added that despite bowel cancer testing being concerned with bodily functions, people should not "die of embarrassment".