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THURSDAY 12 JULY 2007: Michael Milton today announced he has been diagnosed with a squamous cell tumour in his oesophagus (oesophageal cancer).

"My first reaction on hearing I had cancer again was disappointment that I would not be able to achieve my goal of representing Australia in track cycling at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games," said Michael.

"However, I quickly realised there are a lot more important things in life than sport. My thoughts immediately turned to whether I will see the future birthdays of my 10 month old daughter Matilda.

"I've beaten serious cancer once already so I am confident I can do it again. However, it also means I have a pretty good idea of how tough my life will be as I go through the treatment - but I'm up for the fight."

The latest diagnosis came almost 25 years to the day after Milton was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) as a nine year old, which resulted in his left leg being amputated.

"While I am still undergoing tests, I expect treatment to start next week," said Michael.

"My partner Penni and I have great support from our families and our friends and also from my corporate sponsors and partners.

"At this difficult time, I ask that the media respect our family's privacy as we focus on my treatment and I focus on winning the rematch."

Milton competed in five winter Paralympic Games, winning 11 medals, including six gold. He is the fastest Australian skier ever and the world's fastest skier with a disability, having set a new record of 213.65km/hr in 2006.

Milton was scheduled to compete at the UCI Para-Cycling World Track Championships in France in August. All Michael's appointments and bookings over the next six months have been cancelled and he will not be making any appearances until further notice.

Updates on Michael's battle with cancer will be periodically posted on the 'cancer update' page of this website.

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