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Andy Whitfield, who plays the lead character in the Starz drama “Spartacus: Blood and Sand”, is no longer just fighting a war on TV. After being diagnosed with cancer, he is now fighting a real life battle to save his life. While undergoing a routine exam, mandatory before production began on the second season, doctors discovered that Whitfield had non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Since the disease was caught early and he is undergoing immediate treatment, the outcome looks very positive. Whitfield is keeping a sunny outlook, “I’m receiving excellent care and am feeling very strong, positive, and determined, with an army of support behind me.”

So what happens to the Spartacus series? The first season will wrap up next month as planned but production on the second season has been put on hold. This is not an indefinite situation and if Whitfield rapidly recovers, things will go on as planned.

The action-adventure star has the full support of the network. Chris Albrecht, president and CEO of Starz said: “His health, of course, is our primary concern, and he has our complete support during this difficult time.”

Whitfield is married and the father of two. We are wishing him a speedy recovery. Spartacus airs Friday nights at 9pm central time on Starz.

See more Andy Whitfield photos below

Photos: Wenn