JARRYD Roughead will undergo immunotherapy treatment over the next 12 months to treat his cancer, with the Hawthorn star vowing to beat the illness and return to football.

Roughead's melanoma, which appeared on his lip last season, has returned and spread internally.

A biopsy last Monday confirmed four small spots on Roughead's lungs were cancerous and the 29-year-old will begin treatment next week.

"When the news hit two weeks ago it was [a] shock and I didn't really believe it," Roughead told a packed media conference on Tuesday.

"Obviously we were a bit emotional about it all.

"But now as we've had the biopsy and seen the doctors and understand what needs to happen it's just like, 'Righto, let's get going' because the sooner that we start the sooner it's beaten and it's all over.

"We know that next week is when we start, and from then on it's just head down and bum up, really."

What is immunotherapy? How Roughy's treatment works

Roughead has met with world-leading specialists at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and is confident of making a full recovery given the recent advances in treatment.

"I understand the drugs that we need to use are very, very good and the percentages are very good," Roughead said.

"I'm still going to be out here (at the club), I'm still going to be going on trips … so it's not as if I have to go away, I don't lose my hair.

"Nothing like that happens. I'm still just going to be the same old me, but unfortunately I just can't play."

The popular Hawk won't have to undergo traditional chemotherapy and suffer the typical side effects.

However, club doctor Michael Makdissi said the disadvantage of Roughead's injection treatment was that side effects were unknown.

"We go there expecting a really good result and he's a young, fit bloke, hopefully he tolerates it really well," Makdissi said.

"We're hoping that he's here, part of training and being involved. Obviously there'll be periods where he's feeling a bit down and flat, in which case we'll back off a little bit.

"We don't want to push it to a point where we're really stressing the body, so it's no games, no full-on activity, but he'll be here and part of what's going on."

Makdissi said medicos were "optimistic with the outcome" from Roughead's treatment.

Roughead, who trained with the main group at Waverley after the press conference, said he had heard rumours that he was planning to retire from AFL, but insisted he hadn't given away his football career.

"I'm 29 and I've still got two-and-a-half years on my deal," he said.

"So if I'm going to give that up, I'm not going to come back to another team. I'm still going to be here for two-and-a-half years and hopefully longer – that's the plan.

"I'm not feeling down at the moment, because I know what I have to do and I know it's going to be a bit of a battle for the next 12 months.

"But at the end of the day, I'm still here, I'm still fine, it's not like I'm going anywhere."

Roughead and Hawks general manager of football operations Chris Fagan thanked the football community for its support since the reoccurrence of his melanoma was announced.

"It's been amazing since the news broke. Not only for me, but for my wife and family and everyone," Roughead said.

"I've had other teams, teammates, other opposition players, club's fans, just the general public have been unreal.

"It's not like the weekend where you have to choose one side or the other. You know everyone's in your corner for this one.

"When you've got 100 per cent backing it means a fair bit."

And the big Hawk had some advice for fans wondering how to act towards him over the next 12 months.

"Just seeing everyone smile towards me is more than enough," Roughead said.

"There's no point feeling down for me because that's not going to make me feel better, it's not going to make you feel better, it's not going to make anyone feel better.

"So the sooner we're all positive towards this, the better."