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Told Tumor Is Malignant, Howser's Spirits Are High

July 24, 1986|United Press International

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — About 500 letters and cards were delivered to Kansas City Royals Manager Dick Howser Wednesday only hours after doctors explained to him that his brain tumor was malignant, a spokesman for the team said.

A portion of the two-inch tumor was removed in a three-hour operation Tuesday, but doctors who removed the growth would not give a prognosis until complete pathology results become available later this week.

"He's in outstanding spirits," Jeff Coy, a spokesman for the Royals, said Wednesday. "He's been in consultation with the doctors today and he's heard the news. He seems to be very aware of what's going on and he's optimistic."

Coy said the Royals office staff had delivered about 500 letters and cards to Howser Tuesday and brought another batch of 500 Wednesday. He said the mail was postmarked from all over the country.

Howser, who guided the team to a World Series title last year, was listed in fair condition at St. Luke's Hospital.

The tumor is located in the brain's left frontal lobe, which controls speech and personality.

Dr. Charles Clough, who was the chief surgeon in the procedure, said the brain tumor was cystic in nature and appeared to be a "glioma" -- a malignant tumor.

The tumor was determined to be malignant following tests on a frozen portion of the growth. He said the full pathology report will not be available for at least two days, at which time a prognosis would be made.

Although doctors are waiting for the pathology results to decide treatment, longtime Royals' team physician Paul Meyer, who observed the procedure, said radiation treatments were likely.

The doctor said there were no complications in the procedure, but "we will watch him very closely in the next few days."

Mike Ferraro, the Royals' third-base coach and a longtime friend of Howser's, last week was named interim manager for the remainder of the season.

Howser had complained of a stiff neck and headaches for two weeks before he was admitted to the hospital last Thursday--two days after guiding the American League to its second All-Star game victory in 15 years.

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