Stan Walker's relationship with mother shines in powerful cancer battle documentary

Stan Walker's life-saving operation to remove his cancerous stomach and emotional road to recovery has been immortalised in an intimate documentary broadcast on Three.

Some of the most touching scenes are those that capture his inspiring relationship with his mother, April.

The feature, entitled Stan, began filming with the singer/actor from days after he was diagnosed with cancer.

"I went for a routine check about two months ago. Then a week later, I found out I had cancer," Stan says at the start of the documentary.

"I know I'm going to beat this. Then nek minnit I die, ha ha ha! Oops, that's not funny. That's bad. I don't want to die."

In order to stop the cancer from spreading, Stan had to undergo an operation to removes his entire stomach, then attach his esophagus directly to the bowel.

He was deeply concerned that the operation would negatively impact on his singing.

"Yeah I'm getting my whole stomach out, which is - I don't know, it's weird. It's a little bit exciting because I'm going to be skinny for the rest of my life!"

Stan and April both carry a mutation of the CDH1 gene. More than 24 members of their whānau have died of cancer caused by the mutant gene.

The Australian Idol star's siblings have been spared the gene.

"I'm the only one with the gene in [my immediate] family, me and my mum," Stan says.

"My dad doesn't have it, my brothers don't have it, my sister doesn't have it. I was a little down, because it was just me and mum, but over time I was like, 'Thank you Jesus'. Because they don't have to go through the unknown.

"It's an 80 percent chance, if you have the gene, that you'll get the cancer. That's quite high. And I got it, and so did mum. But at the end of the day, I'm glad it's me."

Stan emotionally confessed that his mother cries every day about his illness, and shared his worry that she believed she was somehow at fault.

"Yeah me and Stan - I can't say he's my favourite or anything like that, but we've got a special relationship," April says in Stan.

"I've got different relationships with all my kids, I love them all equally. Me and Stan, we're sort of the same about a lot of things. We're a lot alike."

Although the stomach removal operation was a success and Stan celebrated being cancer-free following it, it was not the end of his health problems.

Stan tracked his further health setbacks, subsequent hospitalisations, dramatic weight loss and eventual first performance following the surgery.

The full feature can be viewed on ThreeNow.