A bowel cancer survivor is warning others to see their doctor as soon as they spot the early symptoms of the condition.
Tom Kyle, 64, from Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, waited three months before going to see his GP despite experiencing bowel problems.
When his wife Lyn forced him to go, he was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Now fully recovered, he calls himself a "typical male pillock" for ignoring the early warning signs, and urges others not to make the same mistake.
His plea comes as new research reveals people experiencing symptoms in the North East are less likely to see their doctor than anywhere else in the UK.
VIDEO: Dr Tony Branson explains the warning signs of Bowel Cancer
He said: "I had the symptoms but ignored them. But my wife realised I wasn’t well and made me go to the doctors.
"That probably saved my life."
Dr Tony Branson, medical director at North East Cancer Network, also urged others not to ignore the warning signs.
He said: "If anyone is experiencing blood in their poo, a pain or lump in their stomach, feeling tired or losing more weight than normal, please go see your GP.
"It’s probably nothing, but if it is cancer then the treatments they have are very good and are very likely to be treated."
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