An overweight father found out that he was a “massive” tumor in his neck after potting three stone.

Little did Billy Muirhead know he had a tumor the size of a snooker ball when he weighed a whopping 21 kg.

But after losing three stones, the 57-year-old from Wigan, Lancashire, worried after feeling a lump on his neck.

Billy’s wife Julie urged him to see his general practitioner for a check-up, and he was soon referred to specialists at a hospital in nearby Scarisbrick for further check-up.

Billy was diagnosed with a type of fourth stage tonsil cancer called squamous cell carcinoma, which had also spread to his lymph nodes Liverpool echo reported.

The 57-year-old with his wife Julie, who urged him to have the lump examined by his family doctor

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“I had my biopsy and it turned out I had stage 4 cancer and it had gone to my lymph nodes. I was very lucky that it hadn’t gotten into my organs.

“I’m not soft, I don’t cry. I’m six feet tall and really macho, but I’m fed up right now. I didn’t have anyone with me because I wasn’t expecting it.

“I was at work and said, ‘I’m only going to this appointment’ but obviously I didn’t go back to work and they did more tests after that.”

In the months that followed, he underwent intensive treatment at Clatterbridge Cancer Center in Merseyside, including seven weeks of radiation therapy and three cycles of chemotherapy.

Billy, who works at a chip factory in Skelmersdale, added that he would never have known if he hadn’t joined Slimming world after getting tired of people calling him fat and worrying about his health.

Billy Muirhead

Billy admitted that losing weight saved his life

“I was 21 and a half stone when I came to Slimming World. I lost three stones and thought, ‘Oh, my face is getting slimmer.’

“Then I felt this lump on my neck, but I didn’t think anything about it because it was a painless lump.

“My wife was sitting there one night, we were watching something on TV and she said to me, ‘You don’t have any lumps, do you?’

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“I said I have this around my neck – it was massive. It was about the size of a snooker ball.”

Billy said he was leading an “unhealthy lifestyle” at the time, drinking six cans of lager a day and chewing on packets of chips.

But he admitted that his decision to lose weight saved his life.

He got the all-clear in July last year and says he is now celebrating 12 months cancer-free.

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Billy said, “I don’t think my oncologist thought I could do it. His exact words when he told me I got the all-clear were ‘you have made a miraculous recovery’.

“I had this lump for so long and I didn’t even know it. I had a big, fat face and it wasn’t until I took off that I found it.

“I’m much more active now and I go out a lot more and just enjoy getting around every day and being with my family and grandchildren.

“With that you take care of yourself and I only have a drink now and then, mainly on weekends.

“When you go through treatment it’s awful – I wouldn’t wish anyone that. You can’t swallow, you can’t eat, you have to be tube-fed on the street again.”

Billy has said his whole lifestyle since joining Slimming World and he would like to offer special thanks to his Slimming World advisor Sue Allt for helping him along the way.

He said, “It definitely saved my life, so I’m very grateful to Sue.

“Without Sue I wouldn’t have ended up at Slimming World, she makes you feel so good.”

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