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Former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly says he has cancer in jawbone

June 03, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, shown in April, announced Monday that he will undergo surgery later this week to treat cancer in his upper jaw bone.
Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, shown in April, announced… (David Duprey / Associated…)

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly has cancer in his upper jawbone and will undergo surgery on Friday, he announced Monday morning.

“Doctors have told me that my prognosis for recovery is very good,” he said in a statement just before the start of his annual celebrity charity golf tournament.

The quarterback who led the Buffalo Bills to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990s is suffering from squamous cell carcinoma. The cancer appears not to have spread to any other parts of his body.

Kelly, 53, has had several medical issues in the past, including back, neck and hernia problems that required surgery. In addition, his son Hunter was born in 1997 with Krabbe disease and died in 2005.

Earlier this year Kelly revealed that he recently had a cyst "the size of a nickel" removed from his gums and nasal cavity, a procedure that he said required doctors to pull out his front teeth.

The five-time Pro Bowler had appeared to have no setbacks in his recovery, making numerous public appearances in the last month. But questions were raised starting last week when his wife, Jill Kelly, started posting vague messages on social media asking for prayers for her husband's health.

Still, Kelly looked upbeat Sunday night while attending his charity's annual gala and auction.

“I am extremely confident in my road to recovery,” Kelly said in his statement. “I plan to tackle this challenge head on, as we Kellys always do, with toughness, perseverance and faith.”

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