ESPN college basketball announcer Dick Vitale revealed on Monday that he has lymphoma, his second cancer diagnosis since June.
Vitale broke the news in an essay for ESPN, saying the cancer was detected early, much like the melanoma he beat in late August. He said doctors told him they don’t believe the two diagnoses are related.
DeCOURCY: Dick Vitale has millions of reasons to continue sometimes-painful battle against pediatric cancer
“For the second time in just a few months, I’ve been diagnosed with a form of cancer,” Vitale wrote. “As a result of some symptoms I’ve had in recent weeks, I’ve been undergoing tests and doctors have now confirmed it’s lymphoma.
“I had announced in August that I underwent multiple surgeries to remove melanoma (which has been totally cleared), yet the doctors believe this lymphoma diagnosis is unrelated. What’s evident is that the treatment plan for this lymphoma is going to be a lot tougher, and in both cases, early detection played an important role in helping to manage the cancers.”
Vitale said doctors gave him a good prognosis, saying the lymphoma has a 90 percent cure rate. Doctors will treat him with steroids and six months of chemotherapy, though Vitale said he would still be able to work. He will manage his work and chemo schedules so they don’t interfere with each other, monitoring his results throughout.
Vitale tweeted his thanks to those who reached out to him, saying he “will win this battle with all the support.” He said he will be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday to begin treatment.
Vitale — a celebrated announcer who told Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy he loves the work he does — has used his position at ESPN to help raise millions of dollars to fight against pediatric cancer. He alluded to Tony Colton, who died in 2017, in his will to fight against his latest cancer diagnosis:
“I will fight with all my heart in dealing with the chemo and want to get back stronger than ever so I can live out my promise to one of my ‘All Courageous’ kids, Tony Colton, who passed in July 2017.
“I was called by Tony to his bedside at All Children’s Hospital prior to his passing and he said to me very weakly, ‘Please, Mr. V, keep pleading for money for kids like me so they don’t have to suffer like this.’
“I made Tony a promise, which is why I will beg and plead until my last breath. My goal is to get back to doing that more than ever, along with my fabulous teammates who work with and support The V Foundation for Cancer Research.”
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