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Stan Walker on the haunting story behind his cancer diagnosis.

When Stan Walker rapidly lost a significant amount of weight, it didn’t take long for the public to assume he had a drug problem.

Of course, those rumours feel particularly uncomfortable now that Walker, 27, has opened up about suffering gastric cancer, and the toll it’s taken on his body.

Last year, Walker’s mother April was being treated for breast cancer when she asked him to go for a check up. The cancer gene mutation CDH1 runs in his family, and has already claimed the lives of 25 of his relatives. Ultimately, the check up his mother urged him to get, ended up saving his life.

The 2009 Australian Idol winner was diagnosed with gastric cancer and told he would need to undergo stomach removal surgery, the exact same procedure that claimed his grandfather’s life almost two decades ago.

It was after this surgery last September, that Walker’s appearance dramatically changed.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Walker said, “People made assumptions when I started posting photos afterwards and those assumptions turned into facts.” “It took just one person to say ‘Is he on drugs?’ and it didn’t matter who I was or how much credibility I had, when I went to gigs, before I could even have a sip of alcohol, someone would ask me ‘what drugs are you on?’

“I didn’t justify myself. I knew they would learn and feel really sh*t afterwards.”

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The rumours about him were the least of his worries, however, when he suffered a number of complications from his surgery. He had gallstones, and one night suffered a terrifying seizure.

He also found he couldn’t sing for several months after his surgery, because the removal of his stomach had affected his ability to sing from his diaphragm.

As a singer and actor, Walker decided to film his experiences over the last few months, including his surgery and the complications that followed, for a documentary named Stan. It will air on Channel Nine on May 7.

Mia Freedman speaks to Gold Logie Winner Samuel Johnson about how cancer has affected his life.

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