Dick Vitale, longtime ESPN college basketball analyst, announced he has been diagnosed with vocal cord cancer.
Last month the 84-year-old Hall of Famer said “past issues on my vocal cords have returned” and he revealed his plan to be on “total voice rest” for the following six to eight weeks.
However, it was during his period of vocal rest that he learned of his diagnosis – his third battle with cancer.
“Though I was disappointed with the pathology report, I plan on winning this battle like I did vs. Melanoma & Lymphoma!” Vitale said in a July 12 statement shared on his social media accounts.
In August 2021, Vitale shared that he had undergone multiple surgeries to remove melanoma on his nose.
On June 28, I went for my first surgery to have the growth removed from above my nose. It helped that we caught it early, and I was thrilled to learn it hadn’t spread. The bottom line is they removed all cancer cells, and I was relieved, big time, to be cancer clear,” he wrote for ESPN’s Front Row.
“I’m in good shape and will be ready to start my 43rd season calling ESPN college basketball games at age 82.”
Months later, the legendary broadcaster had another announcement to make.
“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 it’s lymphoma,” he wrote for ESPN.
“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.”
While Vitale’s most recent diagnosis will require six weeks of radiation, he’s optimistic about returning courtside just in time for the upcoming season of college basketball.
“I face a tough battle to get my voice back to where I can do what I love sitting at courtside for ESPN & calling college games,” he wrote in a lengthy Facebook post. “The good news is that I feel physically terrific & will do all I can to win this battle . Dr Z is optimistic that if we can get the disease removed by the Radiation he can get me ready for the 2023-24 season.”
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Sending all my prayers to Dick Vitale. I can’t imagine what it must be like to battle cancer for the third time in such a short amount of time.
We all can’t wait to see you sitting courtside!