Many noted Kelly's resilience in getting through this.
"In football terms, he'll be at the bottom of the pile, that's the way he is, and that's why he's been successful,' says former Bills defensive end Phil Hansen.
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Bills Color Commentator Mark Kelso
Former Bill Steve Tasker
Special team ace Steve Tasker has been in touch with Kelly in recent days.
"He called me a few days ago, and he asked for prayers. He's been struggling with symptoms for six months, but we didn't know it was cancer until the last couple of weeks," notes Tasker.
"Jim cuts a wide swath, there are a lot of people concerned for him, a lot of people pulling for him. We've been praying for him, and if there's anything our family can do for his, we've told him to let us know," Tasker says.
Hear Kelly's Remarks
Read His Statement
In Depth Audio:
Dr. Marc Snyder DDS
Cancer & HPV Link
Doctors plan to remove part of Kelly's jaw during an operation at a Buffalo hospital on Friday. It won't be determined until after surgery whether he will require chemotherapyThis is but the latest operation Kelly will have had over the past few years. He's also had surgery to correct back, neck and hernia problems.
Kelly has remained active despite the diagnosis.He made the announcement at a charity golf tournament for the Kelly for Kids Foundation. Kelly founded the Foundation in honor of his son, Hunter, who was born with Krabbe disease. Given little more than three years to live, Hunter died at the age of 8 in 2005.
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Buffalo's Early News with John Zach & Susan Rose Tuesday morning talking with Dr. Marc Siegel, DDS
"It's a very difficult thing to endure, but when you're in the public eye it can be more daunting," says Joel Giambra, former Erie County Executive.
Giambra began a battle with throat cancer just as he took office in 1999. READ MORE
|Doctors have known for some time that a sexually spread virus can cause some oral cancers. But actor Michael Douglas' comments on his own throat cancer threw a spotlight on the subject Monday. READ MORE|
Head & Neck Cancer Basics : Rare, Survivable But Complex
From the American Cancer Society:
Squamous cell carcinomas
More than 9 of 10 cancers of the oral cavity and oropharynx are squamous cell carcinomas, also called squamous cell cancers. These cancers begin in early forms of squamous cells, which are flat, scale-like cells that normally form the lining of the mouth and throat.
The earliest form of squamous cell cancer is called carcinoma in situ, meaning that the cancer cells are present only in the outer layer of cells called the epithelium. This is different from invasive squamous cell carcinoma, where the cancer cells have grown into deeper layers of the oral cavity or oropharynx.
Verrucous carcinoma is a type of squamous cell carcinoma that makes up less than 5% of all oral cancers. It is a low-grade (slow growing) cancer that rarely spreads to other parts of the body, but it can grow deeply into surrounding tissue.
If they are not treated, areas of ordinary squamous cell cancer may develop within some verrucous carcinomas. Some verrucous carcinomas may already have areas of ordinary squamous cell cancer that are not recognized in the biopsy sample. Cells from these areas of squamous cell carcinoma may then spread to other parts of the body.
For all of these reasons, verrucous carcinomas should be removed promptly, along with a wide margin of surrounding normal tissue.
They account for 3 to 5 percent of all cancers in the U.S..
This year, an estimated 53,640 people (39,300 men and 14,340 women) will develop head and neck cancers. It is estimated that 11,520 deaths will occur this year from the disease.
Most begin in the flat squamous cells that make up the thin surface layer (called the epithelium) of the structures in the head and neck, and, if not caught early, can move into the deeper tissues.
"I would never use the word dire. There's wonderful treatments for malignancies of the head and neck in general," says Dr. Wesley Hicks, chairman of the head and neck surgery department at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.
" Prognosis for many of these is diseases is excellent," Hicks says.
Kelly's has said he suffers from Squamous cell cancer in his upper jaw bone.
In some cases, these cancers can run deep and be very hard to treat, like the case of film critic Roger Ebert who ultimately died of it last year. Ebert's cancer started in his esophagus & mouth and moved deeper, after having much of his jaw removed.
Kelly says part of his jaw bone will be removed.
"I've been assured that it's pretty much located in one area of my jaw, but it's like anything, once they get in and start cutting cancer away, they figure out how much they have to take,Kelly said Monday.
The treatment plan for an individual patient depends on a number of factors, including the exact location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and the person’s age and general health, according to the CDC.
The average age of most people diagnosed with these cancers is 62, but they can occur in young people. They are rare in children, but a little more than one-quarter occur in patients younger than 55, according to the American Cancer Society..
Tobacco use, alcohol use, and human papillomavirus infection are important risk factors for head and neck cancers.
|Do you undergo the recommended cancer screenings prescribed for you?|
|( 52% )|
|Some of them, but not all.|
|( 20% )|
|( 28% )|
Batavia, N.Y. (WBEN/WGR) - Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly is announcing he is battling squamous-cell cancer of the upper jaw.
Treatment, prognosis and recovery look encouraging, he says.
Kelly discussed the the diagnosis Monday morning at his annual charity golf tournament
HEAR HIS REMARKS HERE
Read Kelly's Statement
From the US CDC..
Most head and neck cancers begin in the squamous cells that line the moist surfaces inside the head and neck, according to the CDC.
Typical symptoms of head and neck cancers include a lump or sore (for example, in the mouth) that does not heal, a sore throat that does not go away, difficulty swallowing, and a change or hoarseness in the voice.
The treatment plan for an individual patient depends on a number of factors, including the exact location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and the person’s age and general health.
Treatment for head and neck cancer can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of treatments
Head and neck cancers account for approximately 3 percent of all cancers in the United States. These cancers are nearly twice as common among men as they are among women.