Vinnie Jones: ‘I’ve got cancer and so does my wife’
Published 24/11/2013 | 08:57
Football hardman turned actor Vinnie Jones has revealed that he is battling cancer, and so is his wife, Tanya.
The 48-year-old, who turned to acting after hanging up his boots, told the Sun on Sunday it is the greatest challenge he has ever come up against.
"Cancer is a horrible word to hear. It frightens the life out of you," he said.
"I've faced the biggest and ugliest lads on the football field and been in some nasty bar brawls. But this is my toughest and scariest opponent yet."
Jones found a lump under his eye, and did not know whether it was a wart or a spot until he went to get it checked out.
The ex-midfielder, best known for his Crazy Gang antics at Wimbledon, said: "When the doctor said I had skin cancer, the first thing I thought was, 'How long have I got?' A million and one things go through your head."
His wife Tanya (47) has battled health problems in the past and discovered that she is also suffering from skin cancer. She has had a number of tumours removed.
Her skin cancer is thought to be a side effect of drugs she took in the wake of a heart transplant she had done 21 years ago.
Jones, whose on-screen career took off with his Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels performance, has had three operations to remove cancerous patches: two under his eye and one on the back of his head.
He is worried about where he may find another.
"It's weighing very heavily on me all the time. It has really knocked me for six and made me reassess my life and goals," he said.
Jones said he had never done much sunbathing, but thinks he developed the disease from working outside on building sites and football training grounds, and taking part in outdoor hobbies like fishing.
He warned others: "If you spot something on your skin that doesn't feel right, like a little spot or tick, then get it checked out immediately."
The Wolverine star shared the news Thursday on Instagram, revealing his wife spurred him to get a suspicious mark on his face checked out by a doctor, who diagnosed him with basal cell carcinoma.
"Deb said to get the mark on my nose checked. Boy she was right!" Hugh wrote.
The actor included a photo of his face with a large bandage across his nose.
Mayo Clinic describes the slow-growing skin cancer as a condition "thought to be caused by long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight". It often forms as a "waxy bump".
Hugh, 45, took the opportunity to urge fans to take his experience as a lesson and use preventative care.
"Please don't be foolish like me. Get yourself checked. And USE sunscreen!!!" he pleaded.