AFL MEDIA personality and former player Sam Newman faces a nervous wait for pathology test results after surgery for prostate cancer.

Newman, 62, who played 300 games for Geelong between 1964 and 1980 but is now better known for his antics on the Nine Network's AFL Footy Show, was diagnosed three weeks ago and had surgery in Melbourne.

Test results, due this weekend, will confirm if the cancer has spread from his prostate.

He allowed a crew from the Nine Network's 60 Minutes program to film his surgery for a story to air on Sunday night to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

Speaking on the Nine Network, Newman was philosophical about his life-threatening diagnosis.

"There's nothing you can do about it. We're going to ask probably the best man in the business to do something about it ... we'll have to wait and see what he says," he said.

"It does go through your mind, just where it's all going to end, and we don't want to make this too dramatic or hokey or too schmaltzy, but it does go through your mind."

Before his surgery, the controversial Newman admitted news of his illness might be welcomed by some.

"People will say it couldn't happen to a nicer bloke, and I accept all that. If you are out there giving it, you've got to cop it," he said.

Urologist Laurence Harewood, who is treating Newman, said he was optimistic for the footy figure's chances, especially given his fitness.

"Cancer is a scary word but at least we are, with Sam, at least in with a chance with him," Dr Harewood said.

"We have got it at an early stage. There is something we can do for him."

Nine personality Eddie McGuire, who hosted the AFL Footy Show beside Newman during much of its 14-year run, said his mate had told only a select few of his battle.

"When he was originally told, there were real concerns that it might have been a bit too late. Today we have a bit more hope," he said.

"He was very concerned and nervous and agitated this morning, as you would imagine, but he has shown tremendous bravery."

Nine executive director Jeffrey Browne said network colleagues supported Newman in his battle.

"Sam is a revered and much-loved person at GTV9 and the greater Nine Network," Mr Browne said in a statement.

"He is facing this challenge with typical defiance and does so with the entire Nine family in his corner."

Newman's post-football media career reached new heights in 1994 when he lent a comic edge to The Footy Show.

He has since become famous for his controversial stunts on the program, his ostentatious lifestyle and his romantic entanglements.

Good friend and football legend Ted Whitten died of prostate cancer in 1995, with a foundation set up in his name to fight the disease.