Billy Connolly has cancer surgery and treated for Parkinson's disease

Monday 16 September 2013 11.36
Billy Connolly will continue to work in television and on stage
Billy Connolly will continue to work in television and on stage

Comedian and actor Billy Connolly has undergone surgery for prostate cancer and is being treated for the "initial symptoms" of Parkinson's disease.

The 70-year-old, who rose to fame on the Scottish folk music scene, will continue to work in television and on stage.

His spokeswoman said: "Billy Connolly recently underwent minor surgery in America after being diagnosed with the very early stages of prostate cancer.

"The operation was a total success, and Billy is fully recovered.

"In addition, Billy has been assessed as having the initial symptoms of Parkinson's disease, for which he is receiving the appropriate treatment.

"Billy has been assured by experts that the findings will in no way inhibit or affect his ability to work.

"He will start filming a TV series in the near future, as well as undertaking an extensive theatrical tour of New Zealand in the new year."

Parkinson's is caused by a loss of brain cells that produce a chemical messenger called dopamine.

Symptoms differ from case to case but often include a tremor or fine shake while the person is at rest, rigidity of muscles, slowness of movement and unsteady balance.

Other possible symptoms can include memory loss and earlier this year, Connolly admitted he had started to forget his lines during performances.

Speaking about it, he said: "This is ... terrifying. I feel like I'm going out of my mind."

There is no cure for Parkinson's and scientists have been unable to work out why people get the condition.

Symptoms can be controlled using a combination of drugs, therapies and occasionally surgery, but often more care and support may be needed as they progress.

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