Former New Zealand international Chris Cairns diagnosed with bowel cancer

Just months after suffering a spinal stroke, former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns has been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

The 51-year-old has undergone emergency surgery for aortic dissection in August - a tear in the lining of the body's main artery. 

Cairns then endured weeks of complications which culminated in a spinal stroke.

Last week the former New Zealand international was discharged from the University of Canberra Hospital. He had endured 141 days of inpatient treatment before leaving the medical facility.

New Zealand's Chris Cairns appeals for the wicket of England's Ashley Giles, but it wasn't given

Cairns revealed his cancer diagnosis on Instagram saying: "I was told yesterday I have bowel cancer. Big shock and not what I was expecting after what was supposed to be a routine check-up.

"So, as I prepare for another round of conversations with surgeons and specialists, I keep remembering how lucky I am to be here in the first place, and how blessed I am to have all that I do in my life.

"Another fight ahead but here's hoping this one is a swift upper cut and over in the first round."

Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches for his country between 1989 and 2006.

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