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Sir Terry Wogan, the beloved broadcaster who served as the BBC’s commentator for over three decades during the Eurovision Song Contest, passed away in 2016 after a battle with cancer.
Terry Wogan died at the age of 77, and it was reported that he had been privately battling prostate cancer, a fact he had kept from his friends and away from public knowledge.
His passing had a profound impact, as he was widely admired for his talent and contributions to broadcasting. Terry Wogan’s legacy continues to shine through his memorable on-screen presence and his dedicated charity work.
Let’s understand his illness profoundly- the causes, symptoms and treatments.
What is Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic cancer is a serious and life-threatening disease that affects the pancreas, a small organ located behind the stomach.
It is a malignant tumor that can grow anywhere in the pancreas but is most commonly found in the tail (pancreaticoduodenal) section. It is usually diagnosed when it has advanced beyond the early stages.
Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease that is often referred to as the “silent killer” due to its ability to go undetected until it is too late. It is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world and is one of the most difficult cancers to treat.
Be aware of the symptoms of Pancreatic cancer which include:
- Abdominal pain. This pain may be felt in the upper abdomen, the back, or the sides. It may be a dull ache or a sharp, stabbing pain.
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling tired or having no energy
- A high temperature, or feeling hot or shivery
While experiencing these symptoms, it’s essential to note that they are often nonspecific and can be attributed to various conditions, not exclusively pancreatic cancer.
However, it is crucial to consult a doctor for a thorough evaluation. This step is vital because early detection of cancer increases the chances of successful treatment.
Therefore, even if the symptoms may not be directly linked to pancreatic cancer, it is important to rule out any potential underlying health concerns by seeking medical advice.
If a doctor refers you to a specialist to investigate the possibility of pancreatic cancer, additional tests and scans will likely be conducted.
These tests may include:
Blood tests: Blood samples are taken to assess specific markers or abnormalities that could indicate pancreatic cancer.
Scans: Various types of scans may be performed, including ultrasound scans (which can sometimes be done internally using an endoscope), CT scans, PET scans, or MRI scans. These imaging techniques help provide detailed pictures of the pancreas and surrounding areas.
Biopsy: A small sample of cells from the pancreas, known as a biopsy, may be collected to be examined for the presence of cancer cells. This procedure helps confirm the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
Laparoscopy: In some cases, a minimally invasive surgical procedure called laparoscopy may be performed. This operation allows the specialist to view the abdominal region directly to assess the pancreas and surrounding organs.
ERCP: An additional test that may be utilized is endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). This procedure helps evaluate the bile ducts, gallbladder, and liver for any abnormalities or signs of cancer.
It’s important to note that not all these tests may be necessary for every individual. The specific diagnostic approach will depend on the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and the doctor’s judgment to determine the most appropriate course of action.
Treating pancreatic cancer can pose significant challenges.
The specific treatment options available to you will depend on factors such as the size and type of pancreatic cancer, its location, the extent of its spread, and your overall health condition.
The treatment plan may involve a combination of the following:
Surgery: Surgical procedures may be recommended to remove the tumor, part of the pancreas, or surrounding affected tissues. In some cases, surgery may not be possible if the cancer has spread extensively.
Chemotherapy: Powerful medications are used to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. Chemotherapy can be administered before surgery to shrink tumors, after surgery to eliminate remaining cancer cells, or as the primary treatment for advanced cases.
Radiotherapy: High-energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, are directed at the cancerous cells to destroy them. Radiotherapy may be utilized alongside surgery or chemotherapy.
Supportive Care: Managing symptoms, pain, and side effects is an essential aspect of pancreatic cancer treatment. Supportive care focuses on improving quality of life and may involve pain management, nutritional support, and emotional and psychological support.
Your specialized care team will provide detailed explanations of the treatments, including their benefits and potential side effects. They will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
Additionally, they will assist you in managing any side effects that may arise during treatment, including dietary adjustments to aid digestion.
Regular check-ups, tests, and scans will be conducted during and after treatment to monitor your progress.
If you experience any worrisome symptoms or side effects, it is important to communicate with your specialists promptly. You do not have to wait until your next scheduled check-up to seek guidance or address concerns.
Coping and support when you have Pancreatic Cancer
Receiving a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer can be overwhelming, both practically and emotionally. It is important to find ways to cope and seek support during this challenging time.
Here is some information that may assist you:
- Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed when it has advanced to a stage where surgery is not a viable option.
- It may be locally advanced (stage 3) or have metastasized to other parts of the body (stage 4). While a cure may not be possible, your doctor may recommend treatments to help slow the growth of the cancer and improve your overall well-being.
- Facing a cancer diagnosis can create uncertainty and anxiety about the future. It is natural to be preoccupied with thoughts of cancer, making it difficult to focus on other aspects of life.
- When dealing with advanced cancer, it becomes essential to determine your priorities and how you want to spend your time. Reflect on what truly matters to you and what no longer holds the same significance.
- Although certain future plans may need to be adjusted or put on hold, it is not necessary to abandon them entirely. Some plans may be adaptable, and you might even find the opportunity to pursue something you have always desired but couldn’t make time for before.
- Seeking support from healthcare professionals, friends, and family can be invaluable during this journey. They can provide emotional support, help you navigate treatment options, and connect you with additional resources or support groups tailored to pancreatic cancer patients.
Remember, everyone copes with their diagnosis differently, so find the strategies that work best for you and prioritize self-care throughout your cancer journey.
Terry Wagon, a Survivor of Pancreatic Cancer
Terry Wogan, the beloved broadcaster who served as the BBC’s commentator for over three decades during the Eurovision Song Contest, passed away in 2016 after a battle with cancer.
Alongside his iconic role as the host of Children In Need and the commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest, Wogan was known for his cheerful presence on screen.
However, previously unreleased footage from 1980, filmed by BBC South in Southampton, revealed that behind his jovial demeanor, he harbored concerns about public perception.
He candidly discussed the pressures of trying to please everyone and how it could affect entertainers, describing it as a “big hole.”
Terry Wogan’s was suffering with Bad Back. His death had a significant impact on the public, as he was a beloved figure in the broadcasting industry.
He had a long and successful career as a radio and television presenter, hosting popular shows such as “Wake Up to Wogan” on BBC Radio 2 and the Eurovision Song Contest.
Following his passing, Terry Wogan’s contributions to broadcasting and his charitable work were widely recognized, and he continues to be remembered as one of the most respected and influential figures in British media.