A father-of-four who underwent robotic surgery five months ago and is now cancer-free is urging anyone with health concerns to contact their GP without delay - reflecting on how his surgeon saved his life.

Duncan McLean, who lives in Stevenage, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in August last year, with surgery for kidney stones revealing a series of tumours after blood was found in his urine.

He had two operations to remove 27 tumours, and immunotherapy to reduce the growth of any new ones.

In June this year, at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital, Duncan had his bladder removed and a new one reconstructed using the small intestine – all through robotic surgery.

He said: “I can’t sing the praises of my surgeon Nikhil Vasdev enough – that man saved my life. With the dedication he exhibits himself, you can see why he expects so much from his team – he takes professionalism to a whole new level. He would come in at the weekend to see me and I felt like number one, his top priority, and he was like that with all his patients. But it’s not just him, the whole team is amazing. The care hasn’t stopped since leaving hospital either – it continues even now.”

The NHS has relaunched its Help Us Help You campaign, encouraging people to get checked if they think they might have cancer and to attend routine appointments, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duncan, 40, said: “If you have any concerns, contact your doctor straight away. Don’t take a chance. If I hadn’t gone, my situation could have been a lot of worse – it might have been terminal. Many men don’t like to go to the doctor and COVID-19 may make things scarier for everyone, but it is so important to get checked out.”

Urologist surgeon Mr Vasdev said: “We are proud to be able to carry out cutting-edge robotic surgery which, as it is less invasive, enables our patients to recover more quickly.

“Seeing Mr McLean return home cancer-free is why we do the job we do, and highlights why it is so important for anyone who has concerns about their health to contact their GP or the NHS 111 service to seek advice. The NHS is open for business, and we are here to help.”

Anyone with concerns, book an appointment with your GP, visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111 for free.