Strictly Come Dancing's Dan Walker opens up about cancer scare

dan walker
Strictly's Dan Walker opens up about cancer scareAlamy

Strictly Come Dancing star Dan Walker has opened up about a cancer scare from 2012, revealing that his kidneys stopped working.

Speaking on the White Wine Question Time podcast, former BBC Breakfast presenter Walker recalled the frightening moment he was rushed to hospital in Poland and told he had cancer.

"I was in Poland a few years ago covering the European Championships and I had a slightly strange lump in my stomach," Walker explained.

"I felt my breathing was changing a little bit and I went to the medical centre in the broadcast centre there, and within two and a half minutes I was in the back of an ambulance on my way to a Polish A&E."

strictly come dancing 2021 dan walker and nadiya bychkova
Guy Levy - BBC

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"It did get a bit scary that night – about two o'clock in the morning a Polish consultant came in and told me that I had cancer because they'd seen some shadows on my kidney, and he used the word tumour," he continued.

After asking the translator – who was with him along with Match of the Day editor Richard Hughes – to confirm what the doctor had said, the translator replied: "He thinks you've got cancer in your kidney."

Recalling the night he spent in the hospital, Walker said he wasn't going to tell his family the bad news until it was 100% confirmed.

dan walker at 2018 tric awards
David M Benett - Getty Images

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"I didn't cry or panic in Poland, I just carefully thought it through," he said. "I thought about what – if it was the case that I had cancer – what would I tell my wife. I didn't know how serious it might be at that point.

It was later confirmed that Walker didn't have a tumour. He had a virus which had harmed his kidneys. After being treated at the hospital, Walker was sent home with "heavy drugs".

On arriving home, Walker said his head and body were "swollen" adding: "I was like the shape of Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, I had to wait for the kidneys to start working again."

Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturdays and Sundays on BBC One, while spin-off Strictly: It Takes Two airs on weeknights on BBC Two. Both shows are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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