A 38-YEAR-OLD father-of-three has been left fighting for his life after his cancer went undetected during the coronavirus lockdown.

Ben Bradbeer had to wait three months for a scan because of the suspension of many NHS services due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He says he was originally diagnosed with an infection and given antibiotics when he visited his GP at Lifeboat Quay Medical Centre in February complaining of pain and bowel changes.

He says when he returned two months later with the same problems and rectal bleeding, he was given more antibiotics and told he could not be referred to a hospital specialist.

Mr Bradbeer said: “They said they were unable to get me into hospital as they were not taking appointments because of Covid-19.

“I then started to bleed out of my back passage. This was three or four months after my initial appointment.

“I am normally quite fit and healthy so at this point I was getting really worried.”

Having made his own way to Poole Hospital A&E, Mr Bradbeer had a number of biopsies which confirmed he had stage four cancer.

Health charities have warned that a growing number of similar cases are emerging, in which patients are at risk from life-threatening illnesses because tests or surgery have been delayed.

Mr Bradbeer said: “I didn’t have a decent night’s sleep for months because of the constant pain. But I was told, ‘We can’t get you a referral to see a urologist because of Covid’. Then in mid-May I went to A&E. My symptoms were clearly serious, and I should have been investigated properly a lot sooner.”

Last week, Mr Bradbeer had an operation to fit a colostomy bag and he is due to start three months of chemotherapy treatment in a few weeks.

He says one of the hardest conversations he has ever had to have was telling his children – sons Shay, 13, and Jayden, 18, and stepdaughter Skye, 16 – he has cancer.

Ben said: “They are all very upset, naturally. I’ve got to fight this, I have too much to lose.

“The hospital were brilliant as they were the ones that found it but my GP was the one who missed it. It is the way they went about it that has annoyed me.

“I have got a lot of support from family and friends and I’m not going to let it get me down.”

His friend Robert Cleall has set up a GoFundMe appeal to support Mr Bradbeer and his family financially and help Ben to live a fulfilling life.

So far, the fundraising appeal has raised £7,500.

Mr Bradbeer said: “I am trying to look at the positives and hope that as a family we can carry on how we are at the moment.

“I want to take the kids on holiday, and I wasn’t to get married to my partner Emma in the next year or so.

“I just want to do things to make it the best time possible. I just want to thank all my family and friends for helping me through what is a horrible time for me and my family.”

Lifeboat Quay Medical Centre declined to comment, citing patient confidentiality.

To donate to the fundraising appeal, visit gofundme.com/f/yubsa-ben039s-battle