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Cezar_TheScribe

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Report: Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has cancer

Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn says he has cancer in a salivary gland.

He told The San Diego Union-Tribune the cancer was discovered last month and he faces seven to eight weeks of treatment — radiation five times a week and chemotherapy once a week.

"The doctors have told me they feel they caught the cancer early and there was not much of it there," he said in a story published Saturday.

The parotid cancer was diagnosed after the former Padres star had a third round of surgery since 1997 to remove a tumor on the parotid gland. The previous procedures found no malignancies.

Gwynn is San Diego State's baseball coach, and the school confirmed Gwynn's condition to The Associated Press. Gwynn plans to return to his alma mater, which he has coached since 2003.

"They say this is a slow moving but aggressive form of cancer," Gwynn said. "I'm going to be aggressive and not slow moving in treating this."

Gwynn said he was concerned the cancer could be linked to his career-long practice of using chewing tobacco.

"I haven't discussed that with the doctors yet, but I'm thinking it's related to dipping," said Gwynn, who resumed the practice of using chewing tobacco after the first two surgeries.

Dr. Kevin Brumund, a neck and throat specialist at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center, told the newspaper there have been no studies linking parotid cancer and chewing tobacco, which is now banned in minor league baseball.

Report Hall Of Famer Tony Gwynn Has -- Main FanHouse

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Tony Gwynn Battling Parotid Cancer

Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn is battling parotid cancer and the former San Diego Padres star will soon begin radiation and chemotherapy treatments, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Saturday.

The cancer was discovered last month after the former Padres star had a third round of surgery since 1997 to remove a tumor on the parotid gland, according to the report.

"I had surgery for a parotid tumor in 1997 and again three years ago and both those times there was no cancer," Gwynn, 50, told the paper. "But this time they found a malignancy. They took out three lymph nodes and did all the tests and the results showed cancer in the parotid.

"The doctors have told me they feel they caught the cancer early and there was not much of it there."

The parotid is a salivary gland that pumps saliva into the mouth. Parotid tumors can result in facial nerve disorders.

Gwynn said he plans to return as San Diego State's baseball coach. Gwynn has been the head coach at his alma mater since 2003.

"They say this is a slow moving but aggressive form of cancer," Gwynn said. "I'm going to be aggressive and not slow moving in treating this."

Gwynn said he faces seven to eight weeks of five-day-a-week radiation treatments and once-a-week chemotherapy treatments.

"I go in Monday for a consultation and I hope to immediately begin the treatments," said Gwynn, who became a first-ballot inductee into baseball's Hall of Fame in 2007 after getting 3,141 hits and recording a lifetime .338 batting average in 20 seasons with the Padres.

Gwynn went to Houston last week to visit the MD Anderson Cancer Center for a second opinion and to discuss treatment options.

"You hope the second doctor will say, 'Nah, they got it all wrong,' but they confirmed what I really knew," joked Gwynn, who expressed a wide range of emotions Friday while discussing his cancer.

The parotid cancer is on the right side of his face from the bottom of his ear to the chin. Gwynn, who won a National League record-tying eight batting championships and was named to the All-Star Game 16 times, is concerned that the cancer could be linked to his career-long practice of using chewing tobacco.

"I haven't discussed that with the doctors yet, but I'm thinking it's related to dipping," said Gwynn, who resumed the practice of using chewing tobacco after the first two surgeries.

Gwynn is one of 17 players in major league history to spend an entire career of 20 or more seasons with one team.


Tony Gwynn Battling Parotid Cancer -- MLB FanHouse
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