Former Wales international Rhys Oakley has opened up about his battle with cancer after going into hospital for a routine ankle operation.
A large lump was found on his chest and following further tests, he was diagnosed as suffering from metastatic testicular cancer, where it spreads to other parts of the body.
He told the Gloucester Citizen: “When that operation was due I had a bit of a chest pain and thought really nothing of it.
“I did go to the doctor but they couldn’t really work out what was wrong. I went in for the operation and they refused to put me under anaesthetic, which is fair enough considering I had chest pains and didn’t know what it was.
“They sent me to see a cardiologist to find out what was wrong and make sure there was nothing wrong with my heart to make sure that if I did go under anaesthetic, I was going to wake up.
“I went for a CT scan with the cardiologist and they found a large mass lump in my chest cavity behind my breast plate, slightly pushing against my heart which is what was making it hard to breathe.
“They initially thought it could be a lymphoma or some kind of cancerous mass but weren’t sure so they needed to do a biopsy and blood tests.
“I had those things done and it came back on Friday that it’s a form of testicular cancer that has not grown in my testicles but has grown in my chest.”
Shocked to hear this news about club skipper, Rhys Oakley. However, if there's one man who is strong enough to fight this successfully, it is the big man. Go well… Right behind you. #puryfamily https://t.co/cwljZtkvFl
— Hartpury RFC (@HartpuryRFC) July 3, 2018
Oakley will go for an MRI scan and have an ultrasound on his testicles before starting chemotherapy, which could be as soon as next week.
He said: “They’ve told me that I have to do a few more tests to make sure it’s not anywhere else and is solely in my chest.
“Once that’s all done I suppose they’ll start me on a course of intensive therapy, chemotherapy, drugs to try and shift it as soon as possible with the thought that if they don’t completely reduce it with chemotherapy then it may be surgically removed.”