This quiet warning to quit smoking speaks volumes

Chris Fletcher warns against smoking.
Chris Fletcher warns against smoking. Brett Wortman

CHRIS Fletcher's warning might be made in a hushed voice, but the reason he speaks so quietly is the most important point.

If the 59-year-old had his time again, he would never touch a cigarette.

Mr Fletcher started smoking when he was 20 and quit just before his 40th birthday when packets started bearing health warnings and he developed a nasty cough.

Four years later, Mr Fletcher was at a local GP who looked under his tongue and questioned the sizeable lump in his throat.

"I was taken straight to the hospital and had a biopsy and they said, 'You've got cancer' - that was a shock," he said.

A week later, Mr Fletcher underwent "massive" surgery to remove the cancer.

Mr Fletcher recovered well and, three years later, he was considered in remission.

But six months later, a secondary cancer was discovered in his thyroid.

The nerves to the right of Mr Fletcher's voice box were severed and he will never again speak in anything but a hushed voice.

"The lesson is, don't start smoking. If you do start, stop and get regular check-ups.

"I'm lucky they caught the cancer early, otherwise I'd be dead by 44."

Topics:  cancer health smoking

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