Mark Radcliffe health: BBC Radio 2 host opens up on cancer ‘I was a husk of a person’

Mark Radcliffe health: BBC Radio 2 host opens up on cancer ‘I was a husk of a person’

The DJ, 60, told listeners he had “some cancerous tongue and lymph node issues” last year, before taking some time off to undergo treatment. In his first interview since receiving his diagnosis of head and neck cancer, Mark Radcliffe told The Mirror doctors had removed a “walnut-sized thing” from the back of his tongue and another “the size of an apple” from his neck. The radio star, who worked at BBC Radio 1 for over 20 years before moving to Radio 2 in 2004, recalled the strange sense of celebration when he discovered the cancer hadn’t spread and was confined to just his neck. He also told the publication how his surgeon had said he was lucky to have caught the cancer when they did. 

He said the cancer would have killed me in months, not years

Mark Radcliffe

“He said the cancer would have killed me in months, not years,” the father-of-three said.

Mark went on to explain how he had undergone six-week course of radiotherapy after the surgery, followed by two rounds of chemotherapy.

“I finished treatment on December 12 and it was after that I really felt emotionally unstable,” he said.

“It coincided with Christmas being over and January is a cold, dark, miserable time of year anyway, so for me that was the toughest part.

“I dropped into Maggie’s Centre at The Christie and when I sat down the counsellor said, ‘So how are you doing?’ and I just burst into tears, which is unlike me,” he continued.

“She asked, ‘Have you just finished treatment?’, and said mine was a familiar scenario.”

In the frank interview, he went on to share his experience of finishing treatment.

“For six weeks you see the same staff every day who tell you the treatment is going great,” he said.

“I had a rota of friends who would drive me, so we’d have a chat and a cup of tea. 

“You get sort of institutionalised – it’s all quite convivial,” he added.

“Then suddenly you’re at home feeling useless, waiting three months for your results. I was a husk of a person.”

Mark subsequently returned to work on BBC Radio 2 earlier this year.

In March, doctors told him the cancer was in remission.

“It’s a euphoric feeling to think I haven’t got any of that c**p in me any more,” he told the publication.

“I’m on a six-month check-up, which I think is a good sign.

“There’s no reason to believe I should get it again but if I do, at least we will be on it early.”

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