BBC journalist Jeremy Bowen has revealed he has bowel cancer after he underwent a test despite showing no symptoms of the illness.The broadcaster’s Middle East editor declared today he was diagnosed in October after suffering “funny pains” in his leg and back.He said he underwent a test despite showing no symptoms of the illness.The 59-year-old is now receiving treatment after he underwent surgery to remove a tumour.Bowen told BBC Breakfast: “I was diagnosed with it last October. I had some funny pains in my leg and my back, when I was in Iraq. Bowen has urged people to get tested for the disease as he revealed he showed no symptoms of the illnessCredit:Martin Pope Last year, Stephen Fry and Bill Turnbull were praised for raising awareness of prostate cancer after talking about their own experiences with the disease.Presenter Turnbull announced that he had been diagnosed with an advanced form of the disease in March last year, just weeks after Fry revealed he was recovering from prostate cancer surgery. Their decision to come forward is thought to have led to a surge in people visiting the NHS online advice pages and NHS bosses dubbed it “the Turnbull-Fry effect”.NHS England said there were 70,000 visits to the NHS website advice page on prostate cancer in March last year, a 250% increase from the monthly average of around 20,000.Appearing alongside Bowen, Deborah Alsina MBE, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said: “Jeremy’s diagnosis highlights that we need to urgently deliver an optimal bowel cancer screening programme across all four nations of the UK. “Screening has been shown to be the best method of detecting bowel cancer early.”Have you had any experience either directly or indirectly with bowel cancer? We’d like to hear your stories and about how you have been affected. Send an email to [email protected] to tell us your about your experience. Jeremy Bowen has spoken publicly about his bowel cancer diagnosis Credit:John Lawrence “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.”He added that despite bowel cancer testing being concerned with bodily functions, people should not “die of embarrassment”.Bowen, who is now a patron of the Bowel Cancer UK charity, said: “I’ve been saying to all my friends ‘Get tested’. People I know have been queueing up at their doctor’s to get tested as a result of the diagnosis that I had.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.