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"Another huge battle ahead of me." Johnny Ruffo's brain cancer has returned.

After more than a year in remission, Johnny Ruffo has shared that his brain cancer has returned.

The former X Factor finalist and Home and Away star posted on Instagram to share he had "an unexpected week of seizures and excruciating headaches", leading to "another huge battle ahead of me as my brain cancer has returned".

"I will dig deep and beat this sh** disease again," he wrote, alongside a photo with his partner Tahnee Sims.

Watch: Johnny Ruffo speaks to Carrie Bickmore about his cancer. Post continues below video.


Video via Channel 10.

Three years ago, Ruffo, 32, recalled being at home with a migraine and was taken to hospital, where he had to undergo emergency surgery to have a tumour removed. 

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Speaking to radio hosts Fitzy & Wippa in September 2017, Ruffo revealed he had been suffering from horrible headaches for years before his diagnosis.

"I've sort of on and off been getting headaches for years but I just thought... I just put it down to drinking too much," he said.

"As you do, you get a headache [and] you think, 'I'll just take a Panadol'."

But when the headache started feeling "like a fire inside his head", and he started slurring his words while talking to his girlfriend, he knew something was wrong.

"It was unbelievable, like the most excruciating pain I've ever felt. I can't even describe it," he said.

In hospital, Ruffo started slowly slipping into a coma and hospital staff were unable to wake him. It was then they discovered he had a 7cm brain tumour that needed to be removed instantly.

"I spoke to the neurosurgeon that did the operation... he said to me 'Look, you know, if you hadn't come in when you did you would've died that night'," Ruffo said.

"He said, 'You would've had a brain aneurysm and not woken up at all'."

Surgeons removed 95 per cent of the malignant stage three oligodendroglioma, as the final five per cent was too close to nerves.

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He underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy to remove what remained.

Two months after discovering the tumour, Ruffo sat down with The Project's Carrie Bickmore - who started her Beanies 4 Brain Cancer charity after the death of her husband Greg Lange - for an interview.

Besides a history of headaches, Ruffo told Bickmore he'd also noticed he was feeling more depressed that usual.

"Initially I thought maybe I was a bit depressed. I'd even gone to the doctor and the doctor said, 'You know, all the symptoms seem like it's depression.

"After having found the tumour, the neurosurgeon said, 'No, no, it's not depression at all, it was because there was so much pressure being put on your brain that it was causing all these different symptoms'."

Ruffo said he was told by doctors that he probably would have died had it not been for the quick-thinking of Sims.

"It's just sheer luck that I went in [to get help] when I did. Otherwise I wouldn't be here."

Sims also faced the extremely difficult task of signing the consent form that allowed doctors to remove his tumour.

After waiting with him for eight hours in the emergency waiting room, she was told to go home and return the next day. 

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But when Ruffo slipped into a coma at 6am the next morning, further testing showed he needed emergency surgery.

"I've got no family here, she's the only person I have here, so she had to sign off to do the operation," he said.

"The surgeon said to her there was a one in 20 chance I would die from the operation. She was quite torn up about it."

He told Bickmore he'd had "an epiphany about life".

"You just appreciate it a little bit more," he said. "Looking back I wasted a lot of time just doing things... I had a lot of fun, but now I feel like I really want to focus on my work and my career and things that make me happy.

"It could have quite easily been over for me that night. It’s almost like having a second chance and you appreciate things a lot more."

Last year, Ruffo told Fitzy & Wippa about the moment he was told he was cancer free.

"It was incredible. You know how people always say 'it feels like the weight of the world lifted off your shoulders'? It genuinely felt like that.

"I walked out after being told 'you're good,' and I just felt lighter."

Feature image: Instagram.

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