Irish rugby great Tony Ward has revealed his battle with cancer.
The 59-year-old former fly half who played for Munster and Leinster got the diagnosis two years and has now come out about how tough it has been for him in a bid to save lives.
The dad-of-four’s marriage was separating during his health struggle.
Ward, who has 19 caps for Ireland and represented the Lions, found out from his doctor that he had prostate cancer in the spring of 2012.
He said: “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.
“That’s typical of men.
“It takes a conscious effort by men to check on their health- it’s all about that macho hunter nonsense that we are above vulnerability.
“My doctor gave me an inspection and immediately noticed something was wrong.”
The pundit took a blood test to check his Prostate Specific Antigen level, which can be a sign of a tumour or cancerous growth.
He said: “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.”
When Tony went to the doctor it was his first vist in six years.
Ward played soccer for Limerick United and Shamrock Rovers.
“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 like trying to get on the Irish team, or trying to win a match.
“You couldn’t say that the stress of separation caused my cancer, but it certainly didn’t help.”
Tony encouraged anyone to go and vist their doctor to get themselves checked.
He added in an interview with the Irish Independent: “The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Irish rugby great Tony Ward reveals battle with cancer