Former NASCAR, IndyCar and Champ Car driver John Andretti has revealed that he has been diagnosed with Stage 4A colon cancer.
According to Indianapolis TV station WTHR, Andretti had been diagnosed with the cancer during a routine colonoscopy in January, and was subsequently operated on in order to remove 30cm of his colon.
However, during recovery it was discovered that the cancer had spread to his liver, forcing the 54-year-old to undergo fortnightly chemotherapy at the Levine Cancer Institute in Concord, North Carolina ahead of further surgery.
Andretti’s cancer is classified as Stage 4A, meaning that it has spread from the original site (colon) to another organ (liver).
Stage 4 is the most severe classification under the numbered staging system.
“Now I’m a Stage 4A,” Andretti told WTHR’s Eyewitness News.
“There is only a stage 4B from my understanding, so I’m not really excited about that.
“But the good news is that we are still on the side that has a good chance of being cured.”
“We’re in it to win it, but, this is one race I can’t lose.”
Despite the two-time NASCAR Cup Series race winner’s uncertain future, Andretti has remained upbeat in the face of the diagnosis.
“Chemo sucks a lot,” he said.
“I don’t think anybody walks out saying ‘Man this is great. Give me more!'”
In Australia, bowel cancer screening is recommended for all adults aged 50 to 74, according to the Cancer Council.
Colon cancer and rectal cancer are both forms of bowel cancer.