Newcastle United winger Jonas Gutierrez has revealed he has been receiving treatment for testicular cancer in Argentina.
The 31-year-old Argentine, who hasn't played since April, fell out of favour at St James' Park and was loaned out to Norwich at the end of last year.
He has been undergoing chemotherapy in his homeland for the past month and tweeted on Tuesday: "Thanks for all the messages. Always looking forward."
In an interview on Argentinian television he said: "When I was told I had cancer, I went home in tears.
"I felt very tough pain on my testicle. After some wrong diagnosis, an ultrasound detected the tumour.
"I came here and I assumed the costs despite having a contract with Newcastle. Money is not important. What is important is my health. I had to start chemotherapy."
He added: "This is the most difficult match I've ever played. You start thinking about important things when you have problems like this one.
"Some guys like (Gabriel) Heinze gave me strength. After surgery, I told (Ezequiel) Lavezzi, (Martin) Demichelis and (Newcastle team-mate) Fabricio Coloccini, who is very close to me. We've played together at Newcastle for six years and he calls me. He is almost a member of my family.
"I decided to reveal all this because I think this is a difficult moment, but there is nothing wrong with this. These things may help other people."
Former Newcastle team-mate Joey Barton, now at QPR, took to Twitter to post his support to Gutierrez.
"Heard the terrible news about Jonas. Wish him a speedy recovery. Great guy with a great family. My thoughts are with them all," Barton posted.
Denmark forward Peter Lovenkrands, who played at Newcastle from 2009 to 2012, also spoke of his concern for Gutierrez. He said on Twitter: "Can't believe the news about my good friend Jonas. Testicle cancer. I wish you a speedy recovery my friend. #SpiderMan #Nufc"
Former Magpies goalkeeper Steve Harper added: "Buena suerte a mi amigo Jonas with his battle with testicular cancer. Great lad and teammate who always gave 100% for the Toon shirt."
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which was set up in a bid to help the on-going fight against cancer, offered their support.
"NUFC's Jonas Gutierrez has announced he's receiving treatment for testicular cancer. Our very best wishes are with you Jonas."
Sunderland supporters' group TFS Sunderland also offered support. "Thoughts go out to Jonas Gutierrez after hearing the news he's battling testicular cancer. There's more to life.... Cancer is a horrible thing to happen to anyone, no matter who you support."
Gutierrez last played on April 5 this year for Norwich in a 1-0 home defeat by West Brom.