All Blacks legend Wayne Smith reveals shock cancer diagnosis

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Former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith has opened about his cancer diagnosis last year. 

The defence coach was proud of his team after the 57-0 win over South Africa.

Source: 1 NEWS

Smith stepped down from New Zealand's coaching team at the end of the Rugby Championship in September. 

Through the Rugby Championship I knew I had it, but I didn't really talk to anyone "
Wayne Smith

And last month he did not attend the New Zealand Rugby Awards to accept the Steinlager Salver for exceptional service to the game. 

Three days earlier, on December 11, Smith had his prostate removed after cancer tumours were found. 

He told Fairfax that last Wednesday he had some good news. The pathology report on the prostate was complete, and indicated that, most probably, Smith was cured. 

Smith has decided to speak publicly about his experience with prostate cancer because it "might encourage guys in their 50s to go and get the tests."

Wayne Smith. All Blacks training session at Eden Park ahead of this weekend's Bledisloe Cup test match. Auckland, New Zealand. Thursday 20 October 2016. © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz

All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith.

Source: Photosport

Since he turned 50 Smith told Fairfax he's been seeing a doctor for his annual medical check-up, and last year the doctor started doing PSA tests. 

PSA or Prostate Specific Antigen is a protein produced by the prostate and changing levels can be a sign of cancer cells.

"It was high PSA levels that initially alerted the doctor," he told Fairfax.

"High levels don't automatically mean you've got cancer, but it is an alert and it led me to getting a digital exam."

Results from an MRI test showed he had tumours. 

"Through the Rugby Championship I knew I had it, but I didn't really talk to anyone (inside the All Blacks). The only one was the team doctor, Tony Page, and I didn't even tell him."

"I just said I was struggling to sleep and he gave me some great advice: 'Just think about the past, not the future, then your mind won't be too active.'"

Smith's cancer diagnosis played no role in his decision to step down from the All Black coaching team.

Smith will retire after almost two decades of rugby with the All Blacks.
Source: 1 NEWS

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