An overweight dad found out he had a "massive" tumour in his neck after shedding three stone.
Billy Muirhead had no idea he had a tumour the size of a snooker ball when he weighed a whopping 21st 6lbs.
But after losing three stone, the 57-year-old, from Wigan, Lancashire, became concerned after feeling a lump on his neck.
Billy's wife Julie urged him to visit his GP to get it checked and he was soon referred to specialists at a hospital in nearby Scarisbrick for further tests.
Billy was diagnosed with a type of stage four tonsil cancer called squamous cell carcinoma, which had also spread to his lymph nodes, the Liverpool Echo reports.
"I had my biopsy and it came back that I had stage four cancer and it had gone to my lymph nodes. I was very lucky it hadn't gone into my organs.
"I'm not soft, I don't cry. I'm 6ft 3in and I'm quite macho really, but I just filled up. I had no one with me because I wasn't expecting that.
"I was in work and I said: 'I'm just going out to this appointment', but I obviously I didn't go back to work and they did more tests after that."
He spent the following months undergoing intensive treatment at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre inn Merseyside, including seven weeks of radiotherapy and three cycles of chemotherapy.
Billy, who works at a crisp factory in Skelmersdale, added that he would never have known if he hadn't joined Slimming World after becoming fed up of people calling him fat and worrying about his health.
"I was 21 and a half stone when I joined Slimming World. I lost three stone and I thought 'oh my face is going slimmer.'
"That's when I felt this lump on my neck but I thought nothing of it because it was a painless lump.
"My wife was sat there one night, we were watching something on the telly and she said to me 'you've not got any lumps have you?'
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"I said I've got this one on my neck here – it was massive. It was about the size of a snooker ball."
Billy said had been living an "an unhealthy lifestyle" at the time, drinking six cans of lager a day and munching on packets of crisps.
But he admitted his decision to lose weight saved his life.
He was given the all clear in July last year and says he is now celebrating 12 months of being cancer free.
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Billy said: "I actually don't think my oncologist thought I was going to make it. His exact words when he told me I've got the all clear were 'you've made a miraculous recovery.'
"I had this lump for that long and I didn't even know. I had a big fat face and it was only when I lost my weight that I found it.
"I'm a lot more active now and I go out a lot more and I just enjoy getting on everyday and being with my family and grandkids.
"It makes you look after yourself and I just have the occasional drink now mainly at weekends.
"When you're going through treatment it's horrendous – I wouldn't wish that on anyone. You can't swallow, you can't eat, you have to get fed through a tube. I don't want to go down that road again."
Billy said his whole lifestyle since he joined Slimming World and he wants to pay a special thanks to his Slimming World consultant Sue Allt who has helped him along the way.
He said: "It definitely saved my life. That's why I've got a lot of gratitude towards Sue.
"Without Sue I wouldn't have ended up at Slimming World, she makes you feel so good about yourself."
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