British actress and singer Kym Marsh revealed that her father was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer after he delayed getting a check-up. The former Coronation Street star said her father, Dave Marsh, 76, did not want to get a check-up during the pandemic. When he finally did, his doctors found cancer spread to other parts of his body.
"It has been a very difficult time, I can’t deny that, but we have always been very close as a family and so we have been able to talk together and plan for the future which is important," Marsh, 45, told The Sun on Thursday. “But the reality is that in Dad’s case it has now spread to his pelvis, spine, ribs, and left leg, which is of course bad news." Her father's doctors believe his condition is incurable, but they can continue treating him to extend his life, Marsh said. However, her father is in "discomfort" now, she said. "I think in his mind he has a target. He hasn’t really shared exactly what that is but he has done a lot of research himself — even though I told him not to — and he knows the statistics in terms of how long he might be able to fight this," Marsh told The Sun.
View this post on Instagram
Marsh hopes that by sharing her father's story, she can inspire men to get check-ups early and often. She pointed out that 50,000 fewer men than usual have been referred to hospitals for prostate cancer treatments in the U.K. during the pandemic. "The good news is that he has responded well to some of the hormone treatments he’s been given — but he’s still in a lot of pain, and that is very difficult to see," Marsh said. "He’s now using a mobility scooter, which for him is the absolute worst part — he hates it. But it has allowed him to keep going out and about with my mum, who is still very active."
Dave hopes to live long enough to walk his daughter down the aisle. Marsh got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Army major Scott Ratcliff, last week. This will be Marsh's third marriage. She is also mother to four children from her previous marriages. "Obviously my big hope is that other men like me will see this and not leave things too long," Dave told The Sun. "There will be a lot of other people out there now who have put things off longer than they should have done, and it’s important that everyone now thinks about the rest of their health and well-being too because things only get worse. I’m starting on a new treatment next week, and hopefully, it will work and give me a bit longer than I might otherwise have had. But the earlier you catch these things the better chance you have."
Marsh is best known for her time on Coronation Street and as a former member of the group Hear'Say. In October, she joined the BBC One morning show Morning Live with Gethin Jones. Friday's episode featured Marsh interviewing her father through tears. "You have always taught me to be strong and to never take things lying down. Sink or swim," Marsh told her father. "I'm not going anywhere," he replied.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men after skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. There are about 248,530 new cases of prostate cancer in American men each year. You can find more information on prostate cancer at Cancer.org.