BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Jim Kelly remains in a New York City Hospital as doctors work on a new approach to treat his second bout of cancer.
The strategy is chemotherapy combined with radiation, and the two together are often said to work better than either one of them alone.¤
Nine months ago, Kelly was declared cancer free, but not necessarily pain-free. Friends say he continued to have pain throughout that time as he went for follow-up visits.
97 Rock DJ Dave Jickster said, “It was really nobody’s big surprise that he was still in pain because it was such a horrific surgery to get all of that cancer out the first time.”
Two weeks ago, doctors discovered the cancer was back more aggressively in his maxillary sinus and connecting tissues.
Kelly is under the care of Dr. Peter Costantino, who heads up the New York Head & Neck Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. He calls Kelly’s condition “very treatable and potentially curable,” and has opted not to perform surgery right now because he wants to start with chemotherapy and radiation.
That makes sense to oncologist Dr. Michael Krabak, who works at CCS Oncology.
“Chemotherapy in combination with radiation therapy can sometimes be as effective as surgery without the side effects,” he said. “They probably assessed the situation and felt that this was the best first step.”
Jickster, who is good friends with Kelly, is circulating a huge “Get Well” card for the former Buffalo Bills quarterback.
“We’re just passing it around as many places as we can and we’ll give that to him when he gets back from New York,” Jickster said. “We keep getting bad news, and bad news and bad news, but you know Jim, and I know Jim, Buffalo knows Jim and he’s going to get through this. He’s the strongest person that I’ve ever met.”
Members of the public will get to sign the card Sunday afternoon at a tailgate memorial for Ralph Wilson, on California Road near the stadium.