Former royal butler Paul Burrell has revealed he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, saying he is on an “emotional educational rollercoaster” as he learns more about his condition.
Burrell, a friend and confidante to Diana, Princess of Wales, said he is urging other men to get tested as he was “lucky” that a routine check spotted his symptomless cancer.
When asked on ITV’s Lorraine about how he is feeling, the TV personality (64) said: “I’m tired because I’m on hormone therapy at the moment and it’s sort of robbing me of my testosterone.
“So my beard isn’t growing like it should and I’m tired, I’m emotional and I get hot flushes.”
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Discussing with host Lorraine Kelly how doctors discovered the cancer, Burrell said on Monday: “In the summer I had to go for a medical for a TV programme I was doing and there duty of care was that I had a full MOT.
“Out of that came a surprisingly high PSA test. I had no idea what a PSA test was and apparently it’s a chemical that’s released by your prostate gland.
“So I went to my GP, he said, ‘This is unusual’ [and] he examined me and said ‘You seem to be fairly normal. I’ll send you for an MRI scan’ and the MRI scan, of course, was the window which they looked through and saw a shadow on my prostate.”
Burrell added: “I’m on an emotional educational rollercoaster of ups and downs and not knowing where I’m going to be the next minute.
“Having the biopsy itself and finding the cancer, wrapping Christmas presents [recently] and thinking, ‘Am I going to do this next year? Am I going to be here? I need to tell my boys.’
“I went to America over Christmas and told them, and they sat with me and held me and said, ‘Dad, we need to spend more time with you.’ And that’s what it’s about.”
Burrell urged other people to get tested, saying: “You realise that there are thousands of men out there, like me, that had no symptoms, that didn’t realise what was happening, and it could be too late.
“So my message is – I was lucky, I was really lucky, they caught it at the beginning, an early diagnosis.
“Men out there can go to their GP and ask for a PSA test, men over 50 … and especially if you’ve got history in the family.”
Burrell will have his first prostate cancer operation on February 27th and will document his progress on Lorraine.
Prostate Cancer UK chief executive Laura Kerby said Burrell sharing his story on a “high-profile public platform” was “brave and selfless”.
She added: “Unfortunately, early prostate cancer usually doesn’t have any symptoms, which is why men over 50 need to be aware of their risk.
“We also strongly recommend that black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer should speak to their GP from the age of 45.”
Aside from his former job in the royal household, Burrell is also known for his appearances on a number of TV shows including I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2004 when he came runner-up to winner comedian Joe Pasquale.
He then headed to the jungle for the Australian version of the show in 2018 and has been in other celebrity shows such as Stars In Their Eyes, Celebrity Big Brother and Australian Princess.
Burrell has also contributed to a number of documentaries about the royal family.