BUFFALO — Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly says he has been told by doctors that he won't need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment after having surgery to remove cancerous cells in his jaw.
The former Buffalo Bills star made the announcement at his football camp in Buffalo on Monday and his comments were posted on the Bills' website.
Kelly says he found out the news on Wednesday.
"From what I've been told, everything that they did in surgery, if I had to do radiation or chemo it would put me way back," Kelly said.
He said he had the left side of his jaw and the teeth on that side of his mouth removed in surgery on June 7. Kelly was released from the hospital three days later.
"It's very, very sore, but it takes time," he said. "I know when you have knee surgery or shoulder surgery it's sore for a small period of time, and rehab and everything is good and you just take your time. This is just constant pain for now, but it's a small price to pay for where I'll be later on down the road."
He says he's scheduled for a follow-up with doctors in two months to see if the cancer stays away.
"I never thought I'd be saying cancer. I never thought the 'C' word would become part of my vocabulary," Kelly said. "But it is what has happened to me and the ups and downs of my life. I'm already on the way back up."
The American Cancer Society estimates about 2.2 million Americans are diagnosed with this form of cancer each year. The society adds that death from these types of cancers is uncommon. About 2,000 people die each year, and that rate is dropping.