Mark 'Chopper' Read has been diagnosed with cancer. Photo: Jon Reid
Melbourne criminal Mark ''Chopper'' Read has been given just weeks to live after being diagnosed with liver cancer, according to reports.
The crook-turned-author and artist used Twitter yesterday to break the news about his failing health, telling his 3428 followers: ''Looks like the big C has finally bitten. Let's see how we go …''
He later said he had four tumours on his liver and had been given just six weeks to live but was not afraid of dying.
"I've got liver cancer. They say there's no way out of it," the Herald Sun quoted him as saying.
"It depends on who you talk to. Some reckon you've got six weeks, some reckon you've got six months, some reckon if you're looked after you could have as long as six years.
"As long as the bleeding stops, I don't give a bugger."
Earlier, he apologised for not ''tweeting of late - have been spending a bit of time in hospital for my liver''.
Read, whose life was immortalised by Eric Bana in the 2000 film Chopper, later tweeted that he feels ''OK''. ''Some more surgery in a couple of weeks and hopefully I'll be ready to rock n roll after that,'' he wrote.
In 2009, Read told ABC Radio that he was refusing a liver transplant after contracting liver cirrhosis.
''I'm not going to ask for a liver transplant, it's not fair,'' he said. ''I'm 55 years old; I'm not going to put my name down against some 10-year-old kid.'' A year earlier, he said he contracted hepatitis C by using shared razor blades in prison.
''I do what I'm told and try to live a clean life. But this is killing my liver and killing me. I will die,'' he said.
- with Adrian Lowe