Ray Illingworth ‘would rather go peacefully’ than battle cancer – symptoms of condition

Ray Illingworth ‘would rather go peacefully’ than battle cancer – symptoms of condition

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“I don’t want to have the last 12 months that my wife had,” Ray Illingworth said. “I would rather go peacefully. I believe in assisted dying.” The sportsman continued: “She had a terrible time going from hospital to hospital and in pain… I don’t want that.” Losing Shirley in March of this year, her loss has greatly influenced Ray’s views on living with cancer.

“The way my wife was, there was no pleasure in life in the last 12 months and I don’t see the point of living like that, to be honest,” he said.

“But we don’t have assisted dying in England yet, so you don’t have the option, do you?”

The former cricketer has already had two doses of radiotherapy to treat the cancer.

He finds out in December whether or not the treatment has been successful.

“I don’t want to have the last 12 months that my wife had,” Ray Illingworth said. “I would rather go peacefully. I believe in assisted dying.”

The sportsman continued: “She had a terrible time going from hospital to hospital and in pain… I don’t want that.”

Losing Shirley in March of this year, her loss has greatly influenced Ray’s views on living with cancer.

Ray detailed his experience to The Telegraph: “They got rid of a lot of the tumour but there were still two centimetres left, originally it was eight.

“They are just hoping to get rid of the last bit with extra double doses.

“I will see how these next two doses go, keep my fingers crossed and hope I have a bit of luck.”

Oesophageal cancer

The NHS explained: “Oesophageal cancer is a cancer that’s found anywhere in the oesophagus, sometimes called the gullet or food pipe.”

The food pipe connects the mouth to the stomach, which is why digestive issues could be a warning sign of a growing tumour.

Oesophageal cancer can lead to:

  • Having problems swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Heartburn or acid reflux
  • Symptoms of indigestion, such as burping a lot.

Other symptoms might include:

  • A cough that is not getting better
  • A hoarse voice
  • Loss of appetite or losing weight without trying to
  • Feeling tired or having no energy
  • Pain in your throat or the middle of your chest, especially when swallowing.

“If you have another condition, such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, you may get symptoms like these regularly,” the NHS stated.

“But it’s important to be checked by a GP if your symptoms change, get worse, or do not feel normal for you.”

At the doctor’s clinic, the medic might feel your neck and tummy if they are checking for signs of cancer.

A blood test might also need to be arranged, as well as other specialised tests at hospital.

“The GP may also refer you straight to hospital for a test to look inside your oesophagus,” the NHS added.

Can you prevent oesophageal cancer?

While the condition cannot be 100 percent prevented, there are ways to minimise your risk.

One such tip is to “let hot drinks cool down a bit before drinking, so they do not damage your oesophagus”.

It also helps to maintain a healthy weight, be a non-smoker, and to cut down on alcohol.

If you want more support about oesophageal cancer, resources include Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK.

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