ABC Sydney radio presenter James Valentine announces shock cancer diagnosis

Well-known radio personality James Valentine has revealed he has been diagnosed with cancer.

The ABC Sydney presenter has cancer of the oesophagus and will be taking several months off-air while he has surgery.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Radio presenter James Valentine plays saxophone for Instagram fans.

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Valentine, 63, announced the news in an online column published on the ABC website on Thursday, and also shared his diagnosis on his Afternoons program.

“In early January, I started five weeks of chemotherapy and radiation,” he wrote.

“In a few weeks, I will undergo surgery, which is the main treatment for my oesophageal cancer.

“The surgery will remove my entire oesophagus and then stretch my stomach up and attach it to my throat.

“After that, I’m very likely to feel like absolute crap for quite some time.

“It is likely I will recover, although that may take some months.”

ABC Radio presenter James Valentine has revealed he has cancer. Credit: Facebook/James Valentine

Valentine said his cancer was unusual because he had been feeling “fine”.

However, he knew something wasn’t right after attending a friend’s party in December.

He had trouble swallowing when he began to tuck into some takeaway beef curry.

“A few minutes later, I’m choking and retching. Bad look at the party,” he said.

Knowing it had nothing to do with having had to much to drink, Valentine’s wife referred him to her sister’s endoscopy clinic.

After a gastroscopy, a doctor revealed he had a four-centimetre tumour where his oesophagus met his stomach.

James Valentine is also a jazz musician. Credit: Instagram/James Valentine

Valentine, who is also a jazz musician who regularly plays at the Django Bar in Sydney, said he had continued to work during his five weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

He said his hair didn’t fall out and he still felt “fine”.

But the surgery will result in him being off radio for two to three months, he said.

“I’m going to make sure I’m fully recovered and my stomach is going to stay attached to my neck before I attempt broadcasting again,” he said.

“Wouldn’t want it to come loose mid-show.”

Thursday was his last Afternoons program for the time being.

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