Man diagnosed with cancer after ignoring ’embarrassing’ symptom he didn’t want to tell his wife about


Warning: This article contains discussion of cancer which some readers may find distressing.

A man has opened up about the regret of not telling his wife about his pain because he was too ’embarrassed’.

Kev Waddle started to feel pain in his bottom in January 2023 and continued to ignore his discomfort for a year.

But as the symptoms got worse, the 57-year-old picked up the courage to ask his wife Tina, 57, to take a look.

The pair, who were on holiday in Morocco in February 2024, were stunned when Tina discovered a lump of the size of a 10 pence coin.

The lump was surrounded with raw skin with a ‘pin prick’ hole in it.

What the GP said

Kev decided to book himself in with the GP when they got back and after undergoing a CT scan and blood tests, he was diagnosed with anal cancer.

However, the father-of-two has been told the cancer is treatable and hasn’t spread.

All while Kev will still have to finish five and a half weeks of radiation at the hospital and chemotherapy tablets at home.

The father-of-two is now focused on getting men to speak up about their mental health issues and to go and get checked if they feel something is wrong.

“I’ve been married for 38 years and I was embarrassed to tell my wife about it,” Kev, from Armley in Leeds, West Yorkshire, said.

“Having to bend down and get my wife to have a look, it took a while before I broached the subject with her.

“My wife saw a lump with not a lot of skin around it. It was quite raised and angry and she said there was a small pin prick hole in it.

“While we were away, it started to smell first and then just started to leak discharge and was painful to sit down. This is when we realised something needed to be sorted.

“We were already geared up for it to be cancer but we got the results back three weeks after the biopsy was done to confirm this.

“When they said it was treatable we were quite relieved and they said it hadn’t spread either.”

Symptoms of anal cancer

According to the NHS, symptoms of anal cancer include:

  • bleeding from your bottom.
  • itching and pain around your anus.
  • small lumps around and inside your bottom.
  • a discharge of mucus from your bottom.
  • having problems controlling when you poo (bowel incontinence)
  • needing to poo often with looser, runnier poos.
Don’t be embarrassed, Kev says

Kev said that his philosophy in life is to not worry ‘about things that are out of your control’.

“My wife has been sharing my diagnosis online on our travelling page and the amount of support I have received from people I don’t know is amazing,” he added.

“Men do keep things private and I think some see it as a sign of weakness if they need to go to the GP.

“If you have any problems just go and get it checked out with your GP. Don’t hide it and get it sorted out straight away.

“I think speaking out about it will help but whether men will speak out about problems is another thing as there is still a stigma around this.

“I’ve always led a healthy lifestyle and do a lot of hiking and walking and it’s just one of those things.

“It doesn’t matter how fit and healthy you are, these diseases can still get you. The main thing is to start talking about them.

“You definitely need to bite the bullet and speak up and ‘stop being a man’ about it.

“I put on my Facebook page, ‘don’t be a Kev and get it sorted straight away’, and lots of people have said this is such a great slogan.”

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 8am–8pm seven days a week.

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