ICONIC comedian, Mark Steel, has been diagnosed with throat cancer after finding a hard lump in his neck.
The British comedy writer noticed symptoms such as his neck "looking much bigger than normal", while shaving in June earlier this year.
After having the lump checked by doctors, Mark was scheduled in for a biopsy, MRI scan and Cat scan, which all later uncovered the devastating news.
The 63-year-old wrote for The Guardian: "I had noticed that one side of my neck was looking much bigger than normal.
"I had to look from several angles before I believed the mirror."
When the lump hadn't gone down in over two weeks, the comedian had it scanned and was told he would need a biopsy.
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A doctor, who asked Mark some other questions about his symptoms,gave him a prognosis over the phone, and said his "chances" were "not good".
After his biopsy was completed, the writer waited 12 days for his results, and was informed he would need further testing in the form of an MRI and Cat scan.
Additionally, the concerned comedian was told he would need another biopsy after presenting at an awards ceremony.
"Then a completely new person called me, and said I had to go in for a repeat biopsy the next day 'to see what stage of cancer you have'", explained Mark.
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“'Hang on,' I said, 'No one has said it’s definitely cancer, are you saying it’s definitely cancer?' She paused. 'Yes. Had no one told you?'”
Despite being understanding that mistakes happen, Mark added: "It’s reasonable to ask politely how they could have lost the biopsy and forgotten to tell me I had f****ng cancer."
Following consultations, the dad-of-two was sadly diagnosed with cancer in two places, primarily in his throat.
Mark continued: "Every meeting, every scan, it always felt a bit worse. Nothing is as nervy as such an appointment.
"I sat on the chair and tried to convince myself that whatever the next moments revealed, it wasn’t too bad.
"I have cancer, but it’s a cancer that can be got rid of."
After receiving the devastating blow of a throat cancer diagnosis, Mark was given hope by his doctor, who confirmed it "is very treatable".
The 63-year-old is currently awaiting surgery and a treatment programme.
He said: "The current estimate is that I should be able to start performing again in about six months.
"I have cancer, but it’s a cancer that can be got rid of.
"I feel like there’s a leopard in my house, locked in a room.
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"I’ve contacted the leopard authorities and they assure me they are used to dealing with leopards like this, and they have a plan for removing the leopard.
"It will take a while, though, and once in a while I can hear it growl."
Symptoms of throat cancer
The NHS has listed these as the main symptoms of laryngeal cancer:
- A change in your voice, such as sounding hoarse.
- Pain when swallowing or difficulty swallowing.
- A lump or swelling in your neck.
- A long-lasting cough.
- A persistent sore throat or earache.
- In severe cases, difficulty breathing.
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