Personal trainer opens up about HPV-related throat cancer

A personal trainer who lost three stones in weight and was left bedridden after a harrowing battle with throat cancer has spoken out about his ordeal.

Jeff Bradford, 56, organised a charity fundraising event involving pals at Life and Sole gym in Forres, Moray, to take part in the Loch Ness Beast Race in aid of the Throat Cancer Foundation last month.

The fitness fantastic was left shocked when he was diagnosed with throat cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) in May 2016.

Medics discovered a tumour in the dad-of-two’s tonsils after he went to the doctors complaining about a sore throat.

“We’d just opened the gym and there was a loft there with fibreglass and stuff so I put my sore throat down to that,” Jeff said.

“The doctors told me to gargle some aspirin and that did clear it but I got another sore throat again and they thought it was tonsillitis.

“I had a few bouts of antibiotics before I was referred elsewhere.

“It turned out it was HPV which had caused the tumour, which was a real shock to me.”

ScrubVac Cleaning Equipment owner Jeff returned to work on the Greshop industrial estate, and at Life and Sole Fitness on the Enterprise Park, having completed chemotherapy and radiation treatment for an aggressive form of the disease.

Throughout his treatment, between July 1 and August 20 in 2016, he was left bedridden for two months and lost a huge three stones in weight due to his inability to eat.

Jeff is now determined to raise awareness of the aftermath of the life-changing illness by raising funds for the Throat Cancer Foundation.

“I’ve been left with very little saliva and my tongue is numb, like I’ve just been to the dentist,” Jeff explained.

“I also have a reflux disease that I need to take tablets for.

“It’s something I’ve got used to but I think throat cancer is a very misunderstood illness and that more people need to know about it.”

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