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Kelly Thanks Public For Prayers

(WBEN) Buffalo Bill Hall of Fame Quarterback is thanking fans for their prayers, in a bedside interview broadcast nationwide Monday morning.

" I'm very humbled that so many people took the time out to not only send me well wishes, but more importantly the prayers.  That's what's going to get me through this , " Kelly, hospitalized for treatment of a recurrence of head and neck cancer, is heard saying in a segment on CBS News This Morning taped at his hospital bedside.

"Jim Kelly Tough"
Kelly, 54, the former Bills quarterback also went public on Monday with an intimate view inside his latest cancer battle, in another bedside interview published by Sports Illustrated .

“There is no way I’d be here without my faith,” Jim Kelly told Sports Illustrated's Peter King.  “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." 

  The article refers to Kelly's cancer recurrence as "a far more serious"  fight with cancer than he initially faced.
Earlier Coverage: Kelly's Battle & The Power of Prayer  
Doctors treating the Hall of Fame quarterback say he will not immediately undergo surgery for a recurrence of cancer.  Instead, he will likely first be treated with chemotherapy and radiation, according to a statement from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. 

Kelly underwent surgery in Buffalo last June to remove a squamous cell carcinoma from his upper jaw. He had been expected to undergo additional surgery this week after the cancer was found to have returned. 

During his battle, his wife Jill has often taken to social media to encourage the prayers that Kelly thanked the public for Monday.  Faith was also a theme in all the public comments about their infant son Hunter's struggle with Krabbe Disease that ended with his death in 2005.

Born in 1997, on his dad's birthday, Hunter was given no more than three years to live after being diagnosed an inherited degenerative disorder of the central and peripheral nervous systems

Other quotes from the CBS Broadcast referred to both that battle and his current struggles:
"I pray that when people see us they find hope and they find faith through what we're going through." 

-Daughter Erin Kelly
  "Jim said, 34, you just don't know how bad my head is feeling right now... I'm here to do whatever I can for him"

-Bills great Thurman Thomas
  The struggle with Hunter changed that man. It's also helping him to get through what he's going through now."
-Wife Jill Kelly

Jim KellyBatavia, N.Y. (WBEN/WGR) - Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly is  in New York City getting chemotherapy and radiation treatment after having an earlier squamous-cell  cancer of the upper jaw removed in June. 

Doctors have said the cancer has spread to one of his sinus cavities, and that surgery has become less of an option because of where the cancer is.

How troublesome can such head and neck cancers be?  What are the treatment options.

WBEN got some expertise Monday morning from Dr. Anurag Singh MD, Director of Clinical Radiation Research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Hear three segments with Dr. Singh and WBEN's John Zacj and Susan Rose
Part 1  | Part II  | Part III
 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.

 Head and neck cancers are also diagnosed more often among people over age 50 than they are among younger people.

Researchers estimated that more than 52,000 men and women in this country would be diagnosed with head and neck cancers in 2012

At His Bedside:

Doctors treating Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly are using all their medical skills.  His wife, is using social media and prayer.


Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Roswell Park Psychologist Jennifer Hydeman says there is a proven method of dealing with cancer that can be overlooked.

"What we have found is that the number one predictor of getting through a cancer diagnosis and treatment successfully is the idea of a strong social support network," Hydeman says. "That's been found in the literature over and over again as the greatest variable that patients can come in to this with."

A strong social support group doesn't necessarily mean a large one. "We really try to let people know that it's not the number of people that you have in your life, it's the quality. Quality over quantity. People start to realize pretty quickly when they get a cancer diagnosis who is really in there with them for the long haul. It often comes down to a real tight knit group of people, whether is be family or friends, that really help patients get through this."

But having a lrage amount of supporters isn't bad either. Hydeman reccomends that patients with a large amount of people looking to help them not have them do so all at once. Dealing with cancer is a long process that can be tough for supporters as well, so using your friends and family over time and not all at once can be a good strategy.

How do supporters help patients, and themselves, get through the tough times? Different families deal with cancer in different ways.

"Patients and their family members use a number of different strategies for coping with a cancer diagnosis. Certainly those that have stronger religious or faith-based beliefs are going to rely on those strategies."

There's a number of options other than faith as well. "We encourage those families and patients to use strategies that have worked for them in the past, whether it be religious practices, or excesise, yoga, meditation, whatever works for them in the past is going to help them get through this process as well."

Hydeman and other Psychologists are employed by Roswell to assist patients dealing with cancer, and their families who are trying to help them.

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Locations : Buffalo
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