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DJ Fenton in cancer battle, but colleagues in the dark

ONE of Ireland's top radio broadcasters has been quietly battling prostate cancer -- and most of his colleagues are unaware of his illness.

Many of the staff at Today FM believe that top jock Tony Fenton is on holidays. In fact, he underwent a major operation in Germany and has been recuperating in a cottage in Connemara for the past few weeks.

Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Independent last night, Tony, 50, revealed: "I feel great. I've no pain at all and I can't wait to get back to work."

Tony has had a bad 12 months. His mother died of cancer last October and the following month the broadcaster discovered a malignant melanoma on his leg.

Last March he was given the all-clear from the melanoma -- but even worse problems were ahead.

He said: "In May, the doctor said there was a low level in the standard blood tests for prostate cancer, but that I should maybe leave it a few months and come back again.

"But I wanted more tests done as soon as possible. The tests proved I had cancer. I was flabbergasted.

"I was told I had several options, one of which involved going to Germany to have the prostate completely removed.

"I was told of a Professor Stolzenborg in Leipzig, who had a 95 per cent success rate. I then met a former GAA footballer who had gone to him for the same operation and he is now perfect.

"I decided to take six weeks off work and went over to Germany four weeks ago. I spent just 10 days in hospital and then came home."

The great news for Tony is that the removal of the prostate does not have any negative effect on his sex life.

"The secret is that the professor leaves as many nerve endings in place as possible. My GAA friend told me that he was making love to his wife four weeks after his operation."

Tony's advice to all men is to be pro-active when it comes to fighting cancer. He said: "One in 12 men in Ireland will get prostate cancer, but they won't necessarily die from it."

•The National Cancer Helpline can be contacted on 1800 200 2700. It's open Monday to Thursday from 9am to 7pm and on Fridays from 9am to 5pm.

Sunday Independent