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Parky praised for speaking out on cancer battle

Michael Parkinson has been praised for having the courage to discuss his prostate cancer diagnosis.

The 78-year-old said he is expected to make a full recovery after spotting the condition early.

Michael, affectionately known as "Parky" to his legion of fans, was diagnosed with the disease in May after a routine health check.

Doctors immediately began organising his treatment, which involves five sessions of radiotherapy a week.

The renowned journalist and interviewer said he was left in shock by the diagnosis, but said he was "in wonder" at the "marvellous" work of medical staff after initial thoughts of his own mortality.


He said: "I had to start calling a few of my social engagements to tell them I couldn't do it – what do you say to them?

"When you are told you have something like cancer, it is a shock. But the cancer specialist said: 'I will assure you, you will not die of this.'

"I am concerned about it, of course, but I am not frightened of it."

Michael said the cancer is contained to his prostate, and that he should be "completely free" of the disease by August.

And he urged men to pay greater attention to their health in order to catch potential diseases early – with a simple test to check for prostate cancer.

"The test is if you can pee against a wall from 2feet, you haven't got it," he said. "I don't want to trivialise it, but men know when there's a problem.

"I have been lucky, but men are silly about their health.

"Get it checked out – it might be something else."

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in men.

But experts agree men stand a much better chance of survival if it is caught early.

Owen Sharp, chief executive of charity Prostate Cancer UK, praised Michael for speaking up about his health.

"We are really grateful and pleased that he has been open enough to talk about his disease," he added.