“Game of Thrones” Actor Wilko Johnson Has Terminal Cancer

Wilko Johnson diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Dr. Feelgood guitarist and “Game of Thrones” actor, Wilko Johnson, has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. The actor has refused chemotherapy and plans to continue to work for the next few months.

The BBC broke the news and Johnson’s manager, Robert Hoy, confirmed it.

“I am very sad to announce that Wilko has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas. He has chosen not to receive any chemotherapy,” Hoy wrote on Wilko’s Facebook page.

“He is currently in good spirits, is not yet suffering any physical effects and can expect to enjoy at least another few months of reasonable health and activity,” the statement said.

In his acting life, Wilko played Ilyn Payne in the first two seasons of the HBO fantasy “Game of Thrones.”

Wilko’s guitar playing has been a huge influence in the British punk movement. He has been a member of Dr. Feelgood and Ian Dury and the Blockheads. 

The diagnosis isn’t keeping him down. According to his manager, the 65-year-old Wilko is on his way to Japan to work. He plans to record another album, tour France and perform in a series of farewell concerts in the UK, according to Hoy.

Pancreatic cancer is exceedingly difficult to survive. Because symptoms are few, the disease is usually not diagnosed until it is in its later stages, often having spread to other areas of the body.

Treatment for pancreatic cancer can include the usual cancer care – surgery, radiation and chemotherapy - although the these treatments have little survival benefit in patients with advanced disease. The pancreas is an organ involved in digestion and controlling blood sugar.

Nearly 44,000 Americans were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year, and some 37,500 people in the US died from the disease.

The statement ends with gratitude. "Wilko wishes to offer his sincere thanks for all the support he has had over his long career, from those who have worked with him to, above all, those devoted fans and admirers who have attended his live gigs, bought his recordings and generally made his life such an extraordinarily full and eventful experience. Thank you."

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
January 10, 2013
Last Updated:
January 17, 2013