A Beckenham dad has said he went from enjoying a healthy lifestyle to being too embarrassed to go out for a meal because of a sudden cancer diagnosis.

Paul Younger, a 53-year-old NHS executive, was diagnosed with throat cancer in January – just two days after a gruelling gym session.

His cancer was caused by HPV, a virus spread through intimate contact, despite Paul only ever having three sexual partners.

The HPV vaccination is routinely offered to girls aged 12 and 13 and is free until their 18th birthday.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has now welcomed a gender-neutral vaccination programme.

Paul believes taking the vaccine would have saved him from months of horrific pain, irreparable long-term effects and possibly an early death.

He said: “The reality is the vaccine would have protected me, my mission is now to raise awareness.

“I have lost a substantial part of my life through something so easy to protect.”

His treatment, which included 30 “torturous” radiotherapy sessions, has now ended and he will find out if this has been successful next week.

Paul is optimistic his children’s children will now be safe from the HPV virus.

His daughter received the vaccination in school but Paul is now paying hundreds of pounds to get his son vaccinated privately.

The dad, who will begin speech therapy soon, has been working on a 50,000-word blog which he hopes will be a resource to fellow sufferers.

He said: “I am six years from retirement but I might not live that long now. I get ulcers, permanent dry mouth because I have no more saliva, I have difficulty swallowing, severe blisters and am always tired.”

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When he learned about his cancer, the doctor told him he was the third man to be diagnosed with cancer caused by HPV that day.

Paul is now determined to raise awareness and said throat cancer is the fastest growing cancer among men in their 40s and 50s in Bromley.

The Crystal Palace fan is hosting a fundraising day for Guy’s Cancer Centre, where he was treated, in a Selhurst pub on July 29.

Link to Paul's fundraising page - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-younger1

Ex-Eagle stars will be in attendance and old memorabilia will be auctioned off.

The Palace fanatic goes to every home and away match and is positive for a stress-free season and a mid-table finish.

Speaking about the official recommendation to now allow boys to be vaccinated against HPV, Paul said: “If I die, at least I know I was part of a team that helped get the vaccination more available.”