Former Home and Away star / X-Factor contestant Johnny Ruffo has opened on The Project about his recent and bloody terrifying brush with brain cancer.
The actor underwent emergency surgery to remove the 7cm tumour in August this year, and has now publicly spoken about what happened that night.
The scary thing about brain cancer is that it can be hard to detect early. Ruffo told The Project‘s Carrie Bickmore that he attributed all his symptoms to lifestyle factors. (The tumour had been growing for anywhere from two to ten years, which without putting too light a spin on it is a long-ass time.)
“Anything that may have been a symptom I just put down to life,” he said, thinking that his headaches were caused by partying or sport.
“Initially I thought maybe I was a bit depressed,” he continued. “I’d even gone to the doctor, [who] said that all the symptoms seemed like depression. After having found the tumour, the neurosurgeon said ‘No, it’s not depression at all, it’s because it was putting so much pressure on your brain it was causing all these different symptoms’.”
He didn’t even go to hospital until one night, his migraine got so bad he was jumbling up his words.
“The surgeon said if I hadn’t gone to the hospital that night I would have died in my sleep,” he said. “It was just sheer luck that I went in when I did and everything happened when it did, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.”
The luck went further than that: surgeons told his girlfriend he had a “1 in 20” chance of surviving the initial surgery.
The good news is that they were able to remove about 95% of the tumour, and Ruffo is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for the remaining 5%.
Here’s hoping he kicks cancer’s sorry little butt into next Friday.