john-partridge

John Partridge on his battle with cancer and why he kept it a secret

The former EastEnders star spoke about his diagnosis on GMB

Gemma Strong

John Partridge is a familiar face on our screens thanks to his stint as Christian Slater on EastEnders. But away from his successful career, the actor has suffered in his personal life. The 49-year-old, who began his career on the stage in the musical Cats, revealed he secretly battle with testicular cancer back in 2004.

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The soap star spoke about his diagnosis during an appearance on Good Morning Britain in 2018 prior to his performance on ITV's The Real Full Monty that same year.

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The actor discussed his cancer battle on GMB back in 2018

John explained his decision to keep the news a secret. "I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2004 while waiting for a hernia operation and it was found. I had a tumour the size of a grapefruit," he shared at the time.

"I had no pain – I didn't realise it was there. Had I not had this surgery for something else, who knows what would have happened? I went into reverse shock about it," he continued. "Once it had been removed, five months later, I had to have a few lymph's removed as a precaution and then I started to worry and get the fear – what if it comes back? Is it my lifestyle?"

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The TV star, who had a testicle removed as part of his treatment, further opened up about the secrecy behind his condition. "As a man, I felt I'd lost part of my sexuality, my masculinity, my virility," he said. "It was a long operation, I had over 120 stitches. There's a scar - it doesn’t look particularly pretty."

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John was diagnosed in 2004

He also confessed he feared his diagnosis would prevent him from getting work. "I make my money going out on the road doing big tours," he explained.

"People think of me as being this big, incredibly fit, healthy guy. I suddenly thought, 'You're not going to take me out on this 52-week tour, eight shows a week, if you have concerns about my health.' So I chose to never speak about it."

During his chat on Good Morning Britain, 14 years after his diagnosis, John stated he felt ready to tell his story. "I'm doing The Full Monty because I know there's lots of people like me who will have had this like me and have never spoken about it," he said at the time.

The Full Monty saw a group of celebrities bare all on live TV in a bid to raise awareness for cancer. The show was supported by charities Movember, Prostate Cancer UK, Cancer Research and Everyman.

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