He remains well and active and is supported by his friends and family.
He had a very successful career playing centre for Newport RFC, Scarlets, Gloucester and the Newport Gwent Dragons and won 19 caps for Wales.
Having retired from professional rugby in 2011, Matthew has maintained a passion for sport and is currently studying for his level 3 coaching qualification.
“Obviously it’s very disappointing news for me and my family but I’m keen to progress with my treatment and battle the illness with the same commitment as I gave to my rugby career.
“I would like to thank everyone who has offered their support and the fantastic support from the guy’s at Velindre Cardiff.
“I am determined to continue my everyday life with my family and friends and appreciate the privacy shown during this very difficult time.”
Newport Gwent Dragons Director and former team manager, Jim McCreedy said:
“It has been a privilege to know Matthew since he first joined Rodney Parade as a young 18 year old.
“Although we would ask supporters to respect his privacy we also know that all Dragons and Newport RFC fans will be rooting for him as he faces this next challenge in his life.
“He has the best wishes of everyone here at Rodney Parade and our thoughts are with Matthew and his family at the difficult time.”