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HomeLifestyleNSW Liberal MP Matt Cross reveals bowel cancer diagnosis after blood donation

NSW Liberal MP Matt Cross reveals bowel cancer diagnosis after blood donation

NSW Liberal MP Matt Cross has been diagnosed with bowel cancer and has taken immediate leave to focus on his recovery.

The 39-year-old Member for Davidson, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, revealed his diagnosis in parliament on Tuesday, saying unusual blood levels recorded during a donation prompted him to visit his GP.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: MP Matt Cross opens up about cancer diagnosis.

“Recently, I became one of over 150,000 Australians who are diagnosed with cancer in a typical year, or one of the 300 Australians who are diagnosed with bowel cancer during an average week,” Cross said.

“Nothing about this has felt typical or average to me.”

The politician said he had since experienced “feelings of shock, fear and denial” but remains “grateful” for an early diagnosis.

Matt Cross reveals he is stepping back from politics after a routine blood donation led to a bowel cancer diagnosis. Credit: @mattcrossmp/Instagram

“When I wake up every single morning, my first thoughts are: ‘Did I just have a bad dream?’” Cross said.

“My second thought is one of comfort — that action is being taken.”

Cross was alerted to the life-changing diagnosis during a routine blood donation in 2023 with the Australian Red Cross’ Lifeblood, through which he has been donating since his late teens.

His haemoglobin levels were flagged as being too low to donate, and it was recommended he see a GP.

He thought some iron supplements and iron-rich foods would be the end of it — but the doctor suggested he have a colonoscopy.

“Still stubborn, I thank my wife, Gessika, for encouraging me to make sure that I had a colonoscopy in a timely manner, and it was there that I discovered my cancer diagnosis,” Cross said.

“Donating blood gave my blood a voice. It alerted me to danger.

“Consider becoming a blood donor. Each donation can save up to three lives, but it might just help you too.”

He also recommended regular visits to a GP and a good understanding of one’s family medical history.

Stepping back from politics

Cross revealed that four family members on his maternal side had suffered bowel cancer, three of whom died with the disease.

“Although I knew there was a risk that I could one day get bowel cancer, I never believed it could happen to be at age 39,” he said.

The MP said he had been experiencing fatigue before his diagnosis, but had chalked it up to long hours on the job.

“As everyone in this place knows, we can work long hours, so I simply put my fatigue down to my work,” he said in parliament on Tuesday.

He announced he would be stepping back from politics immediately, and undergoing surgery in the coming days.

“Recovery will require my full focus,” he said.

He assured constituents his office would continue to operate without him.

“My office will continue to provide the highest standards of constituent service,” he said.

“I’ll be back.”

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