Bill Turnbull is urging people to visit their GP more often after revealing he has been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
The TV and radio presenter broke the news to his fans on Twitter, and said he discovered in November that the disease had also spread to the bone – putting him in a “dark chasm”.
Turnbull, 62, wrote: “I’m receiving excellent treatment including chemotherapy at Royal Marsden NHS and am immensely grateful for the support I’ve had from colleagues Classic FM, where I continue to work.
“I am in good spirits and hope to be around for some time yet. Please spare a thought though for the hundreds of people in the UK who will be told today that they have cancer.
“They are the ones who really need some love.”
Sad news this morning that my fellow @ClassicFM presenter & former BBC Breakfast presenter @billtu has announced he has prostate & bone cancer. He’s now urging men to get any symptoms checked. Sending you a big hug Bill xx pic.twitter.com/ZkizSJpvPj
— Charlotte Hawkins (@CharlotteHawkns) March 6, 2018
Turnbull said he was “crossed with myself” for not visiting a GP in four years, adding: “I was getting pains in my legs and my hips particularly, and they would come and go and I thought this is old age.
“Eventually the pains got so bad I thought I better go and see my GP. Maybe if I’d got it earlier and stopped it at the prostate, I’d be in a much better state.”
The disease has spread to his legs, hips, pelvis and ribs.
He said: “The worst thing is, you carry it through the day and then you go to bed at night and wake up in the morning and it comes to you again. I have got cancer. I’ve still got cancer. It wasn’t a bad dream.
“And that takes a lot of dealing with.”
Huge love to @billtu this morning. Practical, pragmatic & positive as he deals with prostate cancer. His message to others: get yourself checked.
— Susanna Reid (@susannareid100) March 6, 2018
The former BBC Breakfast presenter has said he will continue to host his radio show on Classic FM, and has received messages of support from friends and colleagues.
BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin told viewers on Tuesday that Turnbull was “in really good spirits” and in “good form”.
“We had a long conversation,” she said.
“We have a National Lottery syndicate and I phoned him to say we’d won £2.70.”
2/ I am in good spirits and hope to be around for some time yet. Please spare a thought though for the hundreds of people in the UK who will be told today that they have cancer. They are the ones who really need some love. Thank you.
— Bill Turnbull (@billtu) March 5, 2018
The show posted a photograph of Turnbull on his last day with his colleagues before he left in 2016.
“Loads of love to you Bill,” said former co-host Susanna Reid.
“And a really positive message to come out of your experience: ‘Go to the doctor get the test’.”
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with over 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year.
Unlike other forms of cancer, it can develop slowly and without symptoms.
An increased need to go to the toilet, or difficulty urinating, usually means the disease has spread.
The cancer’s cause is unknown, but it is most common in men who are more than 50 years old.