Doctors in Atlanta confirmed on Monday that Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry has Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. The good news is physicians deemed Berry's condition as "very treatable" and "potentially curable."
Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry has Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.
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B.J. Kissel of the Chiefs' official website broke the news about Berry's condition on Dec. 8. Kissel gathered reports from doctors at Emory's Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta -- Berry's hometown -- confirming that the Kansas City star does have the ailment "after completing a medical work-up and thorough testing."
Kissel posted a statement from Dr. Christopher Flowers, director of the Emory Lymphoma Program at Emory's Winship Cancer Institute which reads,"This diagnosis that is very treatable and potentially curable with standard chemotherapy approaches. The goal of Mr. Berry's treatment is to cure his lymphoma and we are beginning that treatment now."
Berry also released a statement of his own, per Kissel:
"My family and I are very grateful for the amount of support we have received over the last couple of weeks. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate all the words of encouragement, the blessings and well-wishes. I want to thank the Emory University School of Medicine, along with Dr. Flowers and his team, for all of their hard work and effort in diagnosing and creating a plan for me to battle this thing.
"I will embrace the process and attack it the same way I do everything else in life. God has more than prepared me for it. For everyone sharing similar struggles, I'm praying for you and keep fighting!"
According to Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star, there is no word yet on what particular stage Berry's cancer is in. The five-year survival rate for Hodgkin's lymphoma patients is 90 percent "for those in stage one and two, 80 percent for stage three and 65 percent for stage four," per Cancer. org (via The Kansas City Star).
ESPN's Adam Teicher points out Berry complained of discomfort in his chest during a 24-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 20. Doctors discovered a mass in Berry's chest. They suspected it to be lympoma.
Paylor says Berry is the latest NFL player to be diagnosed with cancer. Houston Texans offensive tackle David Quessenberry was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma six months ago. The Texans put him on their season-ending non-football injury list.
Current New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich had Ewing's Sarcoma -- a form of bone cancer -- during his last year at Boston College five years ago, per Paylor. Herzlich overcame the disease to record 65 tackles with the Boston College Eagles in 2010. He was an undrafted free agent in the NFL a year after but the Giants eventually signed him. Herzlich has been with the Giants ever since.
Paylor notes Berry's teammates designed a $20 t-shirt with the slogan "Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Berry" on the front and with his surname and No. 25 on the back. The entire proceeds of the t-shirts collected by the Chiefs and the NFL will go directly to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Soceity.
The 25-year-old Berry is in his fourth NFL season -- all spent with Kansas City. He has amassed 289 tackles, 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and eight interceptions in 53 career regular-season games, per ESPN stats.
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