BUSINESSMAN Jamie Rae was left shellshocked in 2010 when he was told he had throat cancer.

Then 44 and living in Hong Kong, he had noticed a small lump on the side of his throat getting bigger and decided to have it checked out during one of his regular trips back to Scotland.

He said: "Everything seemed okay until the doctor examined my right tonsil, and it was incredibly tender. I wasn't even aware of it.

"I had no difficulty eating or swallowing, but when he touched it I could have jumped through the roof it was so sore.

"Then, the bombshell, he said 'I think this is throat cancer'. My reaction was 'how can this be?' - I don't smoke, I don't drink much.

"Then he said 'have you heard of the human papilloma-virus?'."

Read more: Study reveals high levels of HPV in male head and neck tumours

While head and neck cancers were traditionally concentrated among over 60s with a history of heavy smoking and drinking, Mr Rae was among the growing number of younger people developing the disease.

He was faced with the choice of radiotherapy on the NHS which would have required six teeth extractions, as well as leaving him with thyroid dysfunction and no saliva glands.

Horrified, he paid instead for private treatment at the Royal Marsden hospital in London which has limited the side effects to requiring a daily thyroid pill and avoiding certain foods.

Read more: Michael Douglas discusses throat cancer ordeal 

However, the experience triggered Mr Rae to lobby the Scottish and Uk Governments to extend the HPV vaccination programme to boys, and in 2012 he set up the Throat Cancer Foundation.

He said: "It really is a horrible disease. The biggest thing that surprised and motivated me was, here for the first time we have a cancer that can be prevented by a vaccine and we're not using it.

"That just seemed crazy to me. I thought people really need to be aware of this vaccine problem, and they really need to be aware of these big new numbers worldwide of throat cancer among younger men."

Mr Rae study "vindicates" the Throat Cancer Foundation's campaign, adding that he is delighted that the HPV vaccine is now set to be rolled out to boys.

Read more: NHS drug hailed as incredible breakthrough for head and neck cancer 

He is keen that this should also include a catch-up programme for older boys.

"When they introduced HPV to girls in 2008, they allowed girls up to the age of around 18 to get the vaccine if they wanted it.

"It wouldn't cost a great deal to do the same for boys.

"Otherwise you could have a situation of two brothers at the same school, one aged 11 and one aged 14, and the younger one would get it but the older one won't.

"What's the difference? It's not fair."