Rangers legend and former Man United goalkeeper Andy Goram, 58, is given just six months to live with terminal cancer, but turns down chemotherapy because it will only extend his life by three months
- Rangers icon Andy Goram has been diagnosed with oesophagaeal cancer
- Doctors told the 58-year-old he may only have six months to live without chemo
- The former goalkeeper originally mistook the disease for indigestion
- He vowed to ‘fight like I’ve never fought before’ although ‘chemo is off the menu’
Rangers legend Andy Goram has been given six months to live after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
The 58-year-old reportedly turned down chemotherapy after being told it would only give him another 12 weeks, and said he would ‘fight like I’ve never fought before’.
Goram initially mistook his illness for bad indigestion, but after a scan at Monklands Hospital was told he had level four oesophageal cancer.
The former goalkeeper played 184 times for Rangers, winning five league titles and three Scottish cups. He was a favourite of Alex Ferguson, who gave the keeper his first of 43 Scotland caps in 1985 and signed him on loan at Manchester United in 2000.
Speaking to the Daily Record, Goram said: ‘I thought I had severe indigestion. It was as though my gullet was blocked. After a few weeks, it got worse and nothing was getting through.
‘Everything I ate or drank didn’t get halfway to my stomach and I threw it back up. I couldn’t get a face-to-face with my GP for two weeks, by which time I was in total agony. I’d also lost four stone in four weeks.’
Andy Goram won five league titles and three Scottish club in his time at Rangers
The 58-year-old initially thought he had bad indigestion after experiencing heart burn
Rangers icon Goram won 43 caps in goal for Scotland in a 13-year international career
Andy Goram’s career
1981–1987 Oldham Athletic
1998 Notts County
1998 Sheffield United
2001 Manchester United (loan)
2001 Hamilton Academical
2001–2002 Coventry City
2002 Oldham Athletic
2002–2003 Queen of the South
2003–2004 Elgin City
‘I had a CT scan at Monklands, then was rushed to Wishaw General and told my next of kin should be with me. That is when the alarm bells started ringing. I realised I had cancer.’
He continued: ‘The surgeon explained where all the cancer was and it was inoperable. I knew I was in for a fight. If I don’t take the chemo, I have an average of six months.’
‘Take chemotherapy and be in agony for the sake of an extra three months and zero quality of life? No thanks. Chemotherapy is off the menu.
‘They had to put a stent in my oesophagus to unblock the cancer blockage and help me swallow again. The operation was a total success yet the pain was still unbearable.’
Goram is now looking to make the remainder of his life as bearable as possible. He said: ‘Now the priority is to get the right mixture and strength of painkillers along with morphine.
‘I’ve been given other drugs I’m not attempting to pronounce. Getting all these pills hit home just how serious this situation is. I need to take my medication religiously or I’m in big trouble.’
‘My pain is manageable. I can still go see friends and supporters’ clubs and still be myself.
‘I’ll be here as long as I possibly can. I’ll fight like I’ve never fought before. The only difference is the timebomb ticking away.’
The ex-goalkeeper has turned down chemotherapy as it would only give him three months
WHAT IS OESOPHAGEAL CANCER?
Oesophageal cancer is a disease caused by tumours growing in the food pipe between the mouth and stomach.
The cancer is most common among people in their 60s and 70s and affects more men than it does women.
It can be hard to spot because it doesn’t cause any symptoms in its earlier stages, and only becomes noticed once the tumour has grown.
And its initial symptoms are often mistaken for common and benign issues.
Signs of the disease include difficulty swallowing, persistent indigestion or heartburn, loss of appetite, weight loss, and pain in the torso, chest or back.
Six out of 10 patients die within a year of being diagnosed, according to Cancer Research UK.
Only 12 per cent of people survive for 10 years after a diagnosis.
The exact cause of the disease isn’t well known but smoking, drinking too much alcohol, being overweight or having an unhealthy diet are believed to increase someone’s risk of getting it.