Fans rejoiced when actor Cameron Mathison, 50, shared a picture of himself frolicking in the snow and looking fit and safe on Instagram this week. The former soap opera star, who most recently appeared on Hallmark Channel’s “The Christmas Club,” was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his kidney, and the announcement came just 11 weeks after major surgery — a partial nephrectomy, which removed part of the organ — prompting some to question how the star recovered so quickly.
He said, “I’m feeling really, really well.” “It’s been three weeks since my surgery, and I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to come here… The healing has been fantastic, the surgery went off without a hitch, and the prognosis is excellent.”
Mathison went on to say, “When they removed the tumor on my right kidney, they also removed half of the kidney itself, leaving the rest of it, and when they did the pathology report and tested the margins around the tumor, it was cancer-free, leading them to conclude that all of the cancer had been removed. I am cancer-free because the cancer has not spread.”
The Secret to Cameron Mathison’s Fast Recovery
The tumor on his kidney had been developing for eight to ten years, according to the 50-year-old soap star. It was discovered after multiple tests and visits to different physicians, when he finally got an MRI.
He explained, “I’ll get goosebumps.” “I get teary just thinking about it, but [my wife’s] father died of cancer… I’d heard reports that he wasn’t as worried with his own wellbeing at the time.”
What was the secret to Cameron Mathison’s success? Was it because of his diet? Is he in good health? Is it anything completely different? And why do recovery times vary so much between people? SurvivorNet wanted to speak with an expert about the factors that influence how quickly a person recovers from major cancer surgery. Dr. Heather Yeo, a colorectal cancer surgeon at Weill Cornell Medical Center / NewYork Presbyterian in New York City and a medical adviser to SurvivorNet, discusses some that may affect recovery time.
Good Health Before Surgery
Surgery is similar to running a sprint or a marathon. The happier you are going into it, the better your chances of succeeding and recovering. It is necessary to be safe and fit prior to surgery.
Our health can deteriorate, but a healthy older adult may perform just as well as or better than a middle-aged adult,” explains Dr. Yeo. “Age alone is not a reason to avoid surgery.”
Mental Health and Good Habits
Anxiety and depression have been shown to be risk factors for a slower recovery. “Smoking, like bad diet, delays healing,” says Dr. Yeo. These activities may have an effect on your heart health, which is something to think about before surgery. Before surgery, she notes, “patients with risk factors will need to be cleared by a medical professional.”
Dr. Yeo recommends healthy, high-protein diets before and after surgery, as well as exercise, depending on post-surgical restrictions. Yeo adds, “The body has a remarkable ability to adapt.” “[Some surgeries] are traumatic on an emotional and functional level, but many patients recover with an amazing quality of life. And there are community groups, as well as doctors and surgeons, that will assist you.