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MP’s blood donation reveals shock diagnosis

A NSW MP has explained how abnormal results reported during a regular blood donation led to his early diagnosis of bowel cancer.

In a speech to Parliament on Tuesday evening, Matt Cross, 39, Liberal MP for Davidson on Sydney’s northern beaches, said he would undergo surgery to remove the cancer in the coming days.

“Recently I became one of more than 150,000 Australians diagnosed with cancer in a typical year or one of 300 Australians diagnosed with bowel cancer in a typical year. ‘an average week,’ Mr Cross told the NSW lower house.

“Nothing about this seems typical or average to me. (I had) feelings of shock and fear and denial, but there’s also gratitude for being diagnosed early, and I hold on to that when I wake up each morning.

Matt's Crossbowel Cancer DiagnosisMatt's Crossbowel Cancer Diagnosis

Liberal MP Matt Cross says irregular results revealed during a blood donation led to his early diagnosis of bowel cancer.

Mr Cross, who has a family history of bowel cancer, was alerted to low hemoglobin levels when he became unable to donate blood to the Red Cross Lifeblood services, causing him prompted him to consult his doctor.

While he initially asked his doctor to prescribe him iron supplements, he was adamantly advised to have a colonoscopy.

“I want to be completely honest, my doctor didn’t just tell me to get a colonoscopy. They stoically talked me into doing it,” Mr Cross told the NSW lower house.

“Always stubborn, I thank my wife, Gessika, for encouraging me to make sure I had a colonoscopy as soon as possible, and that’s when I found out about my cancer diagnosis.”

According to Cancer Australia, 15,367 new cases of bowel cancer were diagnosed in 2023, which represented approximately 9.3% of all new cancer diagnoses during this period.

Mr Cross is the MP for Davidson on Sydney's Northern Beaches.  Photo: InstagramMr Cross is the MP for Davidson on Sydney's Northern Beaches.  Photo: Instagram

Mr Cross is the MP for Davidson on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Photo: Instagram

Mr Cross said that while he would be taking time off immediately to focus “fully” on his recovery, he announced his goal of running a marathon to raise money for cancer research, prevention and awareness after his recovery.

After Mr Cross’s speech, New South Wales Liberal leader Mark Speakman stressed the importance of regular health check-ups.

“Godspeed Matt Cross and his wife Gess as you win the battle against a shock diagnosis of bowel cancer,” Mr Speakman wrote on social media.

“Matt’s discovery through routine blood donation and follow-up with a GP shows why we need to pay attention to our health and see a doctor regularly.

“We look forward to seeing Matt again soon.”