Riverdance and Lord of the Dance star Michael Flatley has been diagnosed with an “aggressive form of cancer”, a statement on Instagram has announced.

The 64-year-old retired dancer and choreographer has undergone surgery and is in the care of doctors, his team said in a statement.

“Dear friends, we have something personal to share,” it said. “Michael Flatley has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. He has undergone surgery and is in the care of an excellent team of doctors.

“No further comments will be made at this time. We ask only for your prayers and well wishes.”

The development comes almost 20 years after Mr Flatley was diagnosed with skin cancer on his face. He has previously said the scare made him determined to “live every moment”.

Flatley catapulted to fame in the Irish dancing production Riverdance, which was first showcased in an interval break during Eurovision in 1994.

He later became known for Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames, and Celtic Tiger Live, and is credited with reinventing traditional Irish dance by incorporating new rhythms, syncopation, and upper body movements, which were previously absent from the dance, as well as including influences from tap and contemporary dance.

He formerly held the Guinness World Records for tap dancing 35 times per second and his feet were at one time insured for $57.6 million.

Flatley’s shows have played to more than 60 million people in 60 countries and have grossed more than $1 billion.