An Orpington bus driver discovered he had cancer after he went for an eye test in a Specsavers and now he is praising the store for saving his life.

Robert Snelling, 63, visited Specsavers in Orpington for a routine check-up and was immediately referred back to his GP when optometrist Shahen Raj found something strange above his left eye.

Mr Snelling was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma and had an emergency operation to get rid of the tumour.

He said: "It certainly came as a bit of a shock.

"One day I was being told that there were no signs of anything untoward on my retinal scan and the next I was facing a battle against cancer.

"It was incredibly scary to begin with – no-one wants to know they’ve got something in their eye that they shouldn’t have and it’s certainly a diagnosis you can never really prepare yourself for."

Mr Snelling undertook plaque brachytherapy, where a radioactive implant is put under the eye to deliver a dose of radiation to the tumour.

"It wasn’t the most comfortable of treatments but I was still able to see fine and I was just grateful that it’d been discovered in time.

"I had my second operation a week later to remove the plaque and, thankfully, it had been a complete success.

"The only slight complication I’ve had is that the radiation causes excess leakage from the eye but I manage this with regular Avastin eye injections every six weeks and I really can’t complain given what the circumstances may have been."

Shahen Raj, store director at Specsavers Orpington, said: "We’re obviously thrilled that Robert has made a full recovery and we feel cases like this just go to show just how important regular eye tests can be in maintaining people’s health.

"At no point did Robert think there was anything wrong with him when he came to us but, again, this highlights that there are several eye conditions that are symptomless and can cause real damage if they go untreated.

"We’d obviously, therefore, urge everyone to ensure they prioritise an eye test as soon as possible."

Mr Snelling says he owes his career and his life to Specsavers.

"I really do think Specsavers are fantastic, particularly the team in Orpington.

"My job relies heavily on having good eyesight and without the diagnosis I probably would’ve lost my eye, so it really does feel like I’ve been given a second chance and for that I’ll always be grateful."