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29th May 2024

Newstalk presenter Seán Defoe reveals shock cancer diagnosis

Stephen Porzio

He appeared on The Pat Kenny Show to discuss his diagnosis and road to recovery.

Newstalk’s political correspondent and podcast host Seán Defoe has opened up about being diagnosed with cancer last year.

The host of the station’s Let Me Explain programme, Seán appeared on The Pat Kenny Show today (Wednesday, 29 May) to discuss his road to recovery.

The political correspondent explained that he began to notice “a bit of pain” in one of his testicles a couple of weeks after he turned 30 last June.

While the pain subsided within a couple of days, it returned towards the end of August and persisted.

“It was starting to nag at me then… but I couldn’t feel any lump… Like a lot of men in Ireland, I was completely in denial [it could be cancer],” Seán told the programme.

“I was putting off getting it looked at. And actually, we were out for a walk one day with the dog… and he just suddenly pulled very sharply to the left and clipped me with the lead. The pain was extraordinary. The pain was one of the worst I’ve ever had.

“And that was the point where I said: ‘I can’t ignore this any longer. I’ll go to the doctor.'”

While doctors first told Seán an infection was the likely cause, a later scan revealed a “solid bump” on his testicle.

“I went completely dizzy, had to sit down, and wasn’t taking anything in that was going on,” he recalled.

“Really it was this flip that right – from this point, your life is never quite the same again.”

On the morning of last year’s IMRO Radio Awards, Seán met a urologist who gave him the formal diagnosis of cancer and urged him to “act quickly”.

The presenter headed to the awards ceremony that evening for “one more night of normality” before having a 15-minute operation a couple of weeks later to remove one of his testicles.

However, it was later discovered that the “fast-moving” cancer had spread to his abdomen.

As such, Seán was sent to undergo three cycles of chemotherapy over nine weeks – something he says he feared doing.

Suffering from nausea, about four weeks into the process, his hair began to fall out.

“It was the strangest thing,” he recalled. “One morning, there was a few hairs on the pillow. Then the next day, I was in the shower and put a bit of shampoo on, ran the hand through and half of my hair was on my hand.

“It was gone then within a couple of days. The only good news about it is if I ever go bald naturally, I know my skull shape isn’t terrible. It doesn’t look too bad,” Seán joked.

The chemo was successful and the presenter’s latest scan showed that the cancer in the abdomen was “all gone”.

Nevertheless, Seán said they will be keeping an eye on it over the coming months.

“I actually have another scan tomorrow,” the presenter told the programme.

He also took the time to thank everyone who supported him over the journey, as well as his cocker spaniel Sammy for causing him to go to GP in the first place.

Main image via Newstalk/Youtube

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