Jim Kelly to undergo chemo, radiation treatments next week

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Instead of surgery, Jim Kelly will begin chemotherapy and radiation treatments. (USATSI)
Instead of surgery, Jim Kelly will begin chemotherapy and radiation treatments. (USATSI)
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Last week, a day before former Bills quarterback and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly was scheduled to have surgery to remove the cancer that he had fought off last year, his wife, Jill, wrote that the surgery had been canceled because "the cancer is in areas that surgery cannot successfully eradicate."

On Tuesday, Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, where Kelly is getting treatment, released this statement, via BuffaloBills.com:

"Kelly will start chemotherapy and radiation treatments targeting cancer cells in his maxillary sinus and adjacent tissues next week," Peter D. Costantino, MD, executive director of Lenox Hill Hospital's New York Head & Neck Institute, reported today.

"At the conclusion of chemotherapy and radiation, we will wait two-to-three months to determine the status of his cancer before deciding if surgery will be necessary," said Dr. Costantino.

Because Kelly hasn't previously been treated with chemotherapy or radiation, Dr. Costantino is confident that this treatment regimen has a good chance of successfully impacting the cancer.

"As I have stated previously, Jim Kelly's condition remains very treatable and potentially curable,” he said. “Even if chemotherapy and radiation are not successful in eradicating the cancer, his skull-base tumor remains operable."

Over the weekend, Peter King of TheMMQB.com's spoke with Kelly, who was lying in a hospital bed.

“There is no way I'd be here without my faith,” Kelly said. “It's been such a roller coaster. So many things. The Super Bowl losses, the fabulous career, my son born sick, making the Hall of Fame, my son dying, two plates and 10 screws in my back after major surgery, one plate and six screws in my neck after another surgery, a double hernia, the cancer, surgery on my jaw, the cancer coming back, now what I'm facing."

Meanwhile, the outpouring of support has been overwhelming. After King read 15-20 get-well tweets to Kelly, the Hall of Famer offered this: “Humbling. Humbling. I had no idea. I mean, I don't do Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, whatever. But they tell me about it. There's a lot of ‘Get well, Jim Kelly,' out there, and I am so appreciative of that. I really don't know what to say.”

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