'Deadliest Catch' Star Wild Bill Wichrowski Bravely Shares His Cancer Battle in Season 20

In Season 20 of 'Deadliest Catch,' Wild Bill said he's "going to keep going until I actually can’t."

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Jun. 11 2024, Published 12:10 p.m. ET

To many, Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch is a reality TV gem. Since the series first aired in 2005, fans have gotten to know the fishermen as they journey through the Bering Sea during the hectic crab fishing seasons,

Much like other long-running reality shows, the Deadliest Catch cast feels like family to its most loyal viewers. One of the stories fans kept up with over the years is Capt. "Wild Bill" Wichrowski's.

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Wild Bill joined Deadliest Catch in 2010. During his 14-year-plus journey, he's publicly faced several highs and lows. Ahead of Deadliest Catch's Season 20 premiere, Wild Bill disclosed a health update that he promises won't affect the things we know and love him for.

Here's what Wild Bill has said about his cancer diagnosis.

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Season 20 of 'Deadliest Catch' shows Wild Bill Wichrowski navigating his prostate cancer diagnosis.

In June 2024, a clip from Season 20 of Deadliest Catch showed what was ahead for Wild Bill when the show's 20th season debuted on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. The teaser opens with Bill at the doctor's office and his physician informing him, "You do have prostate cancer, and it needs to be treated right away.” Prostate cancer is known for growing slowly, but Bill's seemed to grow faster than normal.

Bill's cancer diagnosis was alluded to during Season 19 of Deadliest Catch. According to Deadline, Season 20 will show more of what he goes through on a day-to-day basis. While discussing his diagnosis, he said he wasn't interested in quitting his job as captain due to his health.

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In one scene, he says he would work as long as his body allowed, though he admits, "I don't know how I'm gonna feel."

“When I heard it, one of the things I thought was, ‘You know what? I’m not going to stop [fishing]," Wild Bill says in the clip. "I’m going to keep going until I actually can’t.’ How many people get diagnosed with this and they just shut down and crawl into a shell? And it just makes it worse."

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The Season 20 teaser shows that fans will look inside Wild Bill's cancer journey. In one scene, he shows himself "officially" starting cancer treatment while also running the Summer Bay. He shares in a confessional that someone warned him the treatment might be too harsh for him to work, to which he replied, "no way."

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Wild Bill encourages other people living with cancer to "keep moving" as he plans to do the same.

Ahead of Season 20 of Deadliest Catch, Wild Bill disclosed his prostate cancer diagnosis on social media. Since then, the Summer Bay skipper has continued updating his supporters about his health online, stating to a fan on Facebook in February 2024 that his "cancer numbers were good," though he admittedly had "no energy" from the treatments.

Bill's positive outlook on his diagnosis is something fans will see play out on the show. He says in the teaser that he hopes that sharing his story will inspire others who have been diagnosed with cancer to continue living their lives and doing what they love while navigating their illness.

“I was hoping that the fact that I kept going it would show people if you have this, you can keep working," he says. "You can keep moving. That I wasn’t going to stop unless I have to."

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Wild Bill's cancer diagnosis comes after he experienced a personal loss. In 2020, his deck boss, Nick McGlashan, died due to a drug overdose at 33. Wild Bill often shared how he considered Nick his son on the show.

Deadliest Catch airs new episodes on Tuesdays on Discovery Channel at 8 p.m. EST.

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