"The hereditary problem shocked me," says Christopher Timothy after revealing his 'secret' prostate cancer
The Eastenders actor tells the Sunday Express he hid his cancer from his children for five years, but chose Father's Day to go public and warn others after speaking to us about the family risks of the disease.
Christopher Timothy has revealed he hid his prostate cancer from his children for five years until given the all-clear in 2013.
The Eastenders and All Creatures Great and Small actor gave an in-depth interview with the Sunday Express yesterday, describing how his diagnosis came after he'd found blood in his urine in 2008.
"At the time, it was not long after my first wife had died, so my children had lost their mum," he explained about his decision to keep quiet.
"I felt that to tell them that I had prostate cancer, while I knew that I had it and there was a threat of some sort, I felt that it would be wise not to make things worse for them."
I want to give my children the gift of knowledge on Father’s Day. Knowledge is power
Christopher decided to go public about his cancer on Father's Day after talking to us and discovering his children have an increased risk of the disease.
The 77-year-old has seven children, including three biological sons in or nearing their 50s and an adopted son who is black – all of which puts them at higher risk of the disease.
"I am talking publicly now because it’s only literally in the last fortnight, after talking to the charity, that I discovered the hereditary problem. It shocked me," said Christopher.
"I have now urged them to get tested and they absolutely will. I will nag them about it. I want to give them the gift of knowledge on Father’s Day. Knowledge is power."
After four years of active surveillance, Christopher underwent hormone therapy and radiotherapy before being given the all clear. He said he is now feeling fine but urges men to know their hereditary risk and get checked.
"There’s nothing to be ashamed of and it doesn’t hurt," he said. Thank you for sharing your story, Christopher.
Read the full interview on the Express' website.