The Hawthorn star has revealed he is facing 12 months of immune therapy injections after four spots were found on a lung during a recent routine melanoma scan.
But the four-times premiership Hawk vowed this morning that this isn’t the end of his stellar football career.
“You can come to my first game back,” quipped Roughead, when asked if he would ever play again.
“I’m 29 and I still have two and a half years on a (contract) deal.”
Hawthorn club doctor Michael Makdissi explained that “football is secondary at the moment” as Roughead starts therapy next week that will last 12 months.
“(It’s) a serious problem, but we’re optimistic of the outcome,” Makdissi said.
Makdissi said the immune therapy and new techniques for treating melanoma “has really changed the landscape … there’s not the usual side-effects.
“It will involve four treatments three weeks apart and then one every two weeks.”
Roughead said he was ready to attack his latest health problem that arose from the scan following the removal of a melanoma on his lower lip last year.
“Obviously, the news hit me two weeks ago and it was a shock. I didn’t believe it,” he said.
“But after the biopsy, it was `righto let’s get going’. The sooner we start, the sooner I can beat it. It’s head down and bum up.”
Roughead’s frustration is compounded because he feels fine and didn’t have any cancer symptoms as he completed the recovery from a knee injury that kept him out for the first 10 rounds this season.
“I was hoping to play this week. But the doctor has been upfront with what needs to happen. I understand the drugs they need to use are very good,” he said.
“I’m still going to be out here (Hawthorn’s headquarters at Waverley Park) and I’m still going on trips. I’m the same old me, just unfortunately not able to play.
“It’s easier to deal with when everyone is in your corner and I have 100 per cent backing.
“It’s going to be a battle the next 12 months, but I want everyone to treat me normal. At the end of the day, when I finish up, Hawthorn is still going to be here.
“Initially, my emotions were flat, but I know what we have to do. It’s not as if I’m home in my bedroom. We move forward.”
Hawthorn football operations manager Chris Fagan praised Hawks fans and the general football community, including the media, for their respect and support for Roughead.
He asked that Roughead and his wife Sarah be given their privacy while he fights this latest cancer battle.
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