'I refuse to be beaten': The father who has overcome cancer SIX times by enduring 40 operations in 13 years
A battling father has overcome more than 40 operations, beating six separate bouts of cancer, in just 13 years.
Chris Underwood-Frost has seen off the multiple tumours on different parts of his body since first developing skin cancer on his shoulder blade in 1999.
The 50-year-old Tory Councillor, from Gainsborough, Lincs, was told he had just 18 months to live more than a decade ago.
Love of life: Chris Underwood-Frost with his eight-year-old son Max. The 50-year-old Mr Underwood-Frost has fought and beaten cancer six times, and puts his determination down to spending time with his son
He has endured skin cancer in 1999, lymphoma under his arm in 2000, a lump on his chest in 2006, lung cancer in 2009, and finally bladder cancer in 2011 and just two weeks ago.
The cancers have all been malignant melanoma of some form.
Mr Underwood-Frost – who puts his determination down to caring for his son Max, eight – has also had to have a lung removed.
He said: 'I have never smoked in my life and to get lung cancer was a real kick in the groin.
'If he's happy, I'm happy': Mr Underwood-Frost thanks all the doctors who have helped him be with his son
'I have always been a massive critic of those who do smoke – especially around other people. I used to hate going to pubs in the old days and coming home stinking of other people’s muck.
'I was insulted when I was diagnosed with that.'
Mr Underwood-Frost said he started to 'get used to it' when he was diagnosed with cancer for a third time in 2006.
He said: 'My surgeon diagnosed cancer again and to be fair he had it removed within two hours.
'I was helped through by a bit of banter from him too. As he cut into my chest he said to me, “You’re a Tory aren’t you You can’t be because I can see your heart beating”.
Speedy recovery: Mr Underwood-Frost and Max sharing quality time with the Scalextric. Mr Underwood-Frost's last operation for bladder cancer was just two weeks ago
'It was surprising how that lightened the mood. What else are you going to talk about when someone is operating on you'
Chris had the last tumour removed on his bladder a fortnight ago and still has to take the drug Interferon to help combat any cancer coming back.
The drug is a naturally produced substance in the human body used by cells to fight bacteria, viruses and tumour cells.
A person normally produces one million units – about two tear drops – of the substance a year, but but Mr Underwood-Frost takes 30 million units a day for a month.
He said: 'The drug is like having the
worst bout of flu you can imagine, and at the moment the doctors are
still seeing what effect it has on me.
'I would say, for blokes especially,
don’t just ignore something, go to your doctor and get it checked out.
It could be the difference between being here or not. It might sound funny but the most important thing is a positive mental attitude, I don’t take myself too seriously'
'Some people ask me how I manage to keep going, I just thank all those doctors who have helped me have the most fantastic eight years with little Max.
'I love him to bits. We have just come back from a weekend in London and I was shattered to be honest, because of the treatment, but he had a great time. If he’s happy, I’m happy.'
Mr Underwood Frost, who is also a member of Lincolnshire Police Authority, said if there was any lesson to be learned from his battle with the disease it would be to get checked out if you had the slightest worry.
This was especially levelled at men.
He said: 'I would say, for blokes especially, don’t just ignore something, go to your doctor and get it checked out. It could be the difference between being here or not.
'It might sound funny but the most important thing is a positive mental attitude, I don’t take myself too seriously.'
Mr Underwood-Frost was in the Army for six years and puts some of that training down to his ability to cope.
He said: 'The Army was a fantastic life experience for me. Perhaps that is where I get my discipline and determination from. I refuse to be beaten.'