A Scots dad has told of his shock at being diagnosed with bowel cancer at only 38 as a leading charity warn people not to ignore signs.
Mark Newberry, now 41, had been suffering with irregular bowel movements for several months prior to his diagnosis, however it wasn't until he began to suffer with stomach pains that he sought medical attention.
Dad-of-two Mark, from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire said: “I had been having irregular bowel movements for a few months but didn’t think much about it.
"But in the week leading up to my diagnosis, I had bad stomach pains, was unable to keep any food down and felt lethargic."
Two days later dad-of-two Mark was diagnosed with stage four cancer and and was rushed for an emergency operation.
Mark added: "It was a lot to get my head around in such a short space of time.
Bowel cancer wasn’t something which had even crossed my mind, even though my grandfather had died from the disease years ago.
"But eventually, my wife forced me to go to A&E as I was in so much pain. I had an x-ray and was kept in hospital overnight."
He was later told by doctors the tumour had blocked his bowel and the cancer had spread.
Mark had eight cycles of chemotherapy over six months and suffered some of the nasty side effects, including sensitivity to cold and tingling in his hands.
Now Bowel cancer UK are warning people not to ignore warning signs.
Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive at Bowel Cancer UK, says : " It’s vital that people can recognise the signs of bowel cancer and know it isn’t a disease which only affects older people.
"Many are delaying getting help for their symptoms at the earliest opportunity, assuming they’re not serious or they will just go away on their own. "
More than 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK each year, with 2,500 of these under the age of 50.
Symptoms which should be investigated include bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo, a persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness for no obvious reason, and a pain or lump in your stomach.