ESPN's Dick Vitale, 83, Gives Thanks After Cancer Battle
- Beloved ESPN sports analyst Dick Vitale, 83, is thanking his friends and followers for their support during his fight against lymphoma.
- Vitale declared himself cancer free after his lengthy cancer battles with lymphoma in 2021 and melanoma the same year.
- According to the CDC, lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is known as the body’s germ-fighting network.
- Vitale did not reveal what type of lymphoma for which he was diagnosed.
- There are more than 70 different types of lymphoma.
Vitale writing on Twitter, ““Just finished my exam by Dr. Zeitels after being scoped to see how my vocal cords responded since surgery & voice rest.”Read More
According to the CDC, lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is known as the body’s germ-fighting network.
The veteran announcer is legendary for his bombastic style and love of basketball.
Vitale declared himself cancer free after his lengthy cancer battles with lymphoma in 2021 and melanoma the same year.
In an essay for ESPN Front Row, Vitale wrote about his cancer battles at the time:
“For the second time in just a few months, I’ve been diagnosed with a form of cancer. As a result of some symptoms I’ve had in recent weeks, I’ve been undergoing tests and doctors have now confirmed its lymphoma.”
Vitale went on to discuss his treatment.
“The plan is to treat my lymphoma with steroids and six months of chemotherapy. The medical experts tell me it has a 90-percent cure rate,” he wrote.
“They say I can continue to work so I will have to manage my work schedule around my chemo schedule as they will monitor my test results along the way.”
Then this past August, Vitale excitedly declared himself cured.
“Dr. Rick Brown just notified me with my results of my major Pet Scan and told me news I wish EVERY cancer patient can hear,” the college basketball analyst wrote on Twitter.
“He said ‘Dick u have gone from being in remission to being CANCER FREE’! Thank u to ALL of YOU that have sent me (prayers).”
Vitale received the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance this year at the 2022 ESPY Awards, which recognizes individuals and team athletic achievements and other sports-related performances during the calendar year.
“It was an incredible honor. Seeing so many great athletes and hearing passionate stories all night long was truly touching,” Vitale wrote in a special thank you to his colleagues at ESPN.
“Receiving this award made me think of the very first ESPYS. Jimmy V gave the speech of a lifetime, ‘…don’t give up, don’t ever give up’, Vitale recalled. “Those words started the V Foundation and we have now raised over $300 million dollars for cancer research.”
Vitale has not revealed what type of lymphoma he has been fighting. There are more than 70 different types of lymphoma.
“We need even more dollars to beat this dreaded disease. We have made great strides, but there is a lot more work ahead. If you can donate, please give to the V Foundation,” Vitale pleaded.
He also extended his own appreciation to his colleagues and bosses while on stage at the ESPY’s.
“I want to thank the ESPYS, my second family at ESPN — President Jimmy Pitaro, former President George Bodenheimer, the great Chris Berman, and everyone involved in a special evening that I will never forget.”
The Vitality of Dick Vitale
Vitale, a father-of-two and grandfather-of-five, previously revealed why he decided to share the news of his cancer diagnosis in August after beating melanoma.
Vitale said he did not want sympathy or praise but rather to let the public know how crucial early screenings are and how manageable some cancer can be when detected in its early stages.
“If you take nothing else away from my personal cancer story, please remember this – DON’T WASTE TIME!” wrote Vitale.
“Specifically, if you notice any growth, mole, or skin abnormality, please get yourself checked out immediately. It’s important. I want to deliver that message loud and clear. I’m lucky.”
Vitale, who has long been a champion for early detection, is also on the V Foundation for Cancer Research board. That non-profit group was created by ESPN and commentator Jim Valvano in 1993, shortly before his death from an adenocarcinoma.
“Luckily, I took care of it when I did, and I can’t stress enough that you all should do the same,” wrote Vitale. “That’s how I’m going to achieve my goal of sitting courtside calling a game when I’m 100 years old!”
Combating Chemo Side Effects
There are a lot of myths about how chemotherapy impacts people’s lives.
It’s sometimes assumed that while undergoing chemotherapy, you’ll be restricted to your home and unable to move around – but the opposite is true, Dr. Marleen Meyers, an oncologist at NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center, previously told SurvivorNet.
Many people can continue to work, and Dr. Meyers encourages her patients to exercise, even if it’s just a walk. It can make a huge difference when dealing with fatigue, a common side effect of chemotherapy.
There are also treatments to help with the side effects of chemotherapy. Many medications are available for treating nausea and vomiting as well as anemia.
Chemotherapy can prolong a person’s life and help eliminate cancer. The treatment kills regular cells, as well as cancer cells, which leads to side effects.
Many people experience these adverse effects, but some people have few or none.
Its side effects depend on the type of chemo drug involved, but infections, easy bruising or bleeding, and hair loss are some of the more common ones.
Other side effects such as hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia may be managed with integrative medicine, like mindfulness, yoga, and acupuncture.
Chemotherapy patients should contact a doctor about any serious wounds, injuries or bruises that seem to be healing slowly, as well as if any blood in stool or urine is detected.