Irish Rugby Legend Reveals Battle Against Prostate Cancer
The 59-year-old has spoken out in order to help save lives of men who refuse to get themselves checked out by doctors.
Tony Ward has revealed that he has been battling prostate cancer for the last two years.
The former Ireland fly-half, who won 19 caps for his country, learned he had the disease in the Spring of 2012 while he was going through a marriage separation.
“I began to notice that I needed to go to the toilet more often. It seemed like nothing sinister, and I did nothing about it,” he told the Irish Independent.
“That’s typical of men. It takes a conscious effort by men to check on their health – it’s all about the macho hunter nonsense that we are above vulnerability.”
Ward revealed it had been his first check-up in six years.
“My doctor gave me an inspection and immediately noticed there was something wrong.”
Ward underwent a blood test in order to check out his
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) level, often indicative of a tumour or cancerous growth.
“I was told by my consultant that I was off the scale when it came to my PSA. The cancer had spread from my prostate like juice trickling out of an orange and it was a fairly virulent form of it.”
Ward says he had a positive outlook in his battle against cancer from the outset, and even now is undergoing hormone therapy to fight it.
“Throughout my life I have tended to get worried about the most minuscule irritants. And then, when I was faced with a life and death issue I managed to get things in perspective.
“My response was – hey, c’est la vie. It’s another challenge. It’s a battle. It’s like trying to get on the Irish team, or trying to win a match.”
But he added: “You couldn’t say that the stress of separation caused my cancer, but it certainly didn’t help.”
Ward encouraged more men to get themselves checked out if they feel they’re not at their best.
“It only takes an hour out of your day. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about,” he said.