Canadian snowboarding champion Max Parrot has been diagnosed with cancer.

The Olympic silver medallist fell ill in December and discovered he had Hodgkin's Lymphoma after having a biopsy on a lymph node.

This form of cancer affects the lymphatic system and can affect people of any age, although it's most commonly diagnosed in those between 15 and 30 years old.

Symptoms include painless swelling of lymph nodes, persistent fatigue, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss.

For Parrot, the first symptoms were incessant itching that began in September 2018, following by the realization that he had a lump on his neck in November.

He has early stage (IIA) cancer and had his first chemotherapy treatment last week. Chemotherapy treatment will continue every other week for the next six months.

“It's been hard news to take for me, my family and friends. It was very hard to digest,” said the 24-year-old Bromont athlete.

Parrot is a three-time X Games champion and has competed in two Olympic Games, winning the silver medal for Canada in 2018.

His first and only competition this season was in Beijing in November. On Thursday Parrot said that he would not be competing again this season, and likely not be competing this year.

His sports psychologist Jean-Francois Menard believes Parrot's athletic mindset will help with his recovery.

“This is a new challenge for Max, and he talked about fear a while ago, and I'm a big believer that fear can prepare you for something and make you perform better,” he said.

Parrot’s doctor told him to stay active, so he’ll continue to snowboard and play sports – just not compete.

Parrot said he's confident he'll be able to compete in the next winter Olympics in Beijing.

“It’s still far away, in three years, so, for now, I have six-month treatment. My goal is actually to be back on my board competing next year,” he said.

“My first main goal is to beat the cancer then back on my board, in shape next year.”