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An amateur motorcyclist who 'cheated death' after being diagnosed with advanced mouth cancer had his jaw replaced in groundbreaking surgery.
Andy Gale, 50, was told he had stage-four squamous cell carcinoma in January 2014, after the wound left behind by a removed wisdom tooth failed to heal two weeks after it was taken out over the Christmas before.
Bridgwater - Somerset - Knife - Operation - Surgeons
The father-of-three, of Bridgwater, Somerset, went under the knife in a 12-hour operation that saw six surgeons replace 30 per cent of his jaw with steel and bone from his shin.
Unable to eat for six weeks, Mr Gale then endured chemo and radiotherapy while he 'went to war with cancer'.
Motorcyclist - Sport - RallyMoto - Cup - Year
Now healthy, the amateur motorcyclist threw himself into the sport he loves and even won the prestigious RallyMoto Cup less than a year after getting the all-clear.
Mr Gale was referred to a specialist for a biopsy when his removed wisdom teeth was not healing.
Speaking - Cancer - Mr - Gale - 'When
Speaking of when he was told he had cancer, Mr Gale said: 'When there are six doctors in the room, you know you're in trouble.'
'I told them not to sugar-coat it and they said that cancer had filled the space where the tooth had been removed.'
Mr - Gale - Surgery - Doctors - Section
Mr Gale was told he needed surgery, which involved doctors replacing a large section of his jaw with a titanium track that mimics the missing bone.
Once recovered, the amateur motorcyclist faced the next stage of treatment.
Session - Worse - Effect - War - War
'During my last radiotherapy session I thought the worse was over, but due to the cumulative effect, mentally I felt it was akin to going to war, but it was a war with cancer,' Mr Gale said.
'Nobody told me how difficult the chemo and radiotherapy would be mentally. When I came out of it, I just felt a bit lost.
'I had focused so much on...
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It had only one fault, it was useless.