Penny Lancaster breaks down in tears as she speaks about Rod Stewart's aggressive cancer battle

Publish Date
Friday, 11 October 2019, 10:24AM

Penny Lancaster has opened up about her husband Sir Rod Stewart's prostate cancer diagnosis for the first time, following a secret three year battle.

Appearing on yesterday's episode of UK talk show Loose Women, the 48-year-old broke down in tears as she explained why they kept the diagnosis a secret from the world.

Recalling the initial diagnosis in 2016, Penny told the panel: "We were in London. He's very up on his health. He doesn't believe in retirement, he wants to keep going forever, so he's always getting screenings and tests."

She continued: "Rod had a few symptoms. It started moving quite quickly, the results, the numbers. They said we best do a rectal exam. It's the only way. A specialist has to do that.

"And they did find a lump. Then it was like, 'ok we can't ignore this.'

"We got the shock news it was cancer. We looked at the different ways of dealing with it. One was to have the gland removed, another was chemotherapy, radiation therapy," Penny continued.

The 74-year-old musician had to have a "three-month intensive course of radiation" to treat his prostate cancer because he had an aggressive form of the potentially-fatal illness, as the tumour had moved outside his prostate gland so removing it wouldn't cure him.

Instead, Rod had to go to a London hospital every day for three months to receive radiation therapy and luckily for the singer the treatment worked.

"It was [quite aggressive]. It came on really quickly. With Rod, it was an aggressive one. It left the gland and travelled to the outside tissues.

"So that was another scary moment where we had to have more invasive tests and scans to see if it was anywhere else secondary in his body, which was the most frightening test of all.

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"But it hadn't gone. It's emotional. We kept it quiet for two and a half years now. The positive news is we caught it early enough."

Whilst Rod was fighting cancer, he and Penny made the decision not to tell their two young sons, Alastair, 13, and Aden, eight, that their dad was ill, but the 'Maggie May' hitmaker did have the support of his six grown-up children.

An emotional Penny said: "We told the older ones but two-and-a-half years ago little Aidan was only five or six, it would have been too much for them to understand. When daddy finally told everybody the good news, and to get the message out there for guys out there over 50 go and get the test, then we told the little ones ... Things are fantastic now."

"It was our choice to come out [with the news], as it were. Rod was performing at a prostate cancer event with the Faces," she explained.

"After a few songs, he said, 'Hi everyone, thank you so much for coming and I have to just take this moment, I owe it to everyone, I'm a survivor'."

"In July he got the all-clear there's no trace at all so that's really exciting news. He just wanted to give a message out to all men, especially over 50, you can actually go and request to get a PSA blood test," added Penny.

"Which will give you a little indication, it's not a sure result. But if there's a sign that the readings are elevated, and if it's the case you can have further examinations rectally, which is an awkward thing for men to talk about."

Rod then made a special appearance on the TV show in a video segment to urge all men to forget about the embarrassment of the rectal examination because a "finger up the bum" could save your life.

He said: "Hi my girls on Loose Women, just a few words about prostate cancer I've just been given the OK.

"Guys, please, get down to the doctors and get tested, it's a rotten disease, it gives you no warnings, no symptoms, unless you go to the doctors you don't know if you've got it. So finger up the bum, no harm done!"