Patrick Murray says ‘I wouldn’t be here now’ without ultrasound

Only Fools And Horses star Patrick Murray has said he “wouldn’t be here now” if he had not gone to the GP about a swelling in his stomach.

Murray, 65, who played Mickey Pearce in the classic BBC sitcom, is urging people to get unexplained discomfort checked out, after scans caught a cancerous lung tumour in its early stages.

Speaking on ITV news, the actor said: “I had a swelling in my belly, it lasted for about three weeks and I was going to put it down to men things or whatever but I decided to call my GP.

“After a little examination he couldn’t find any of the usual suspects so he suggested I have an ultrasound.

“Two weeks later I popped down to the local hospital, it was very quick, clean and non-invasive and the very next day I had a call from my doctor saying they found a tumour, a possibly cancerous tumour on my liver and I would need some more tests.

“I had an MRI scan and a CT scan, which covers a large area of your body, and that’s how they found a cancerous tumour in my lung, but it was at an early stage.

“This is very important, had they not caught it then I probably wouldn’t be hear chatting away now.”

Earlier this week, Murray revealed he had his cancerous lung tumour removed and endorsed a government advert urging people to get any discomfort checked.

Challis & Murray
John Challis who played Boycie and Patrick Murray who played Mickey Pearce in Only Fools And Horses (Yui Mok/PA)

“I could have passed it by to be honest, after this little journey I have had, I have got to say I was going to keep it to myself but we need to spread this message.

“If you have got symptoms that persist for more than a couple of weeks you have to get them looked at, I’m not talking about pain, I am talking about discomfort or a little bit of swelling, if it doesn’t feel right, get it looked at.

“Cancer has symptoms that usually don’t show until you’re in the late stage but often they are quite mild in the early stage but get seen too.

“Don’t worry about the pandemic, the Government have put this thing out because it is important they haven’t buried their head in the sand over this, they’ve done the right thing.

“Ultrasound technology has come on incredibly in the last 10 years, what used to be a fuzzy picture is now a clear crisp picture and by magic they can see everything that is going on inside your tummy,” the actor added.

His cancer announcement comes four months after John Challis, who played unscrupulous second-hand car dealer Boycie in the beloved series, died from cancer aged 79.

Murray played dim-witted wide boy Mickey alongside David Jason as Del Boy and Nicholas Lyndhurst as Rodney Trotter on Only Fools And Horses from 1983 to 2003.