Jim Kelly’s follow-up exam shows no sign of cancer

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Doctors in New York City say it appears Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly is cancer-free.

Lenox Hill Hospital said Wednesday that follow-up testing shows “no evidence of cancer” and the chemotherapy and radiation treatments Kelly has been undergoing have “completely eliminated” the pain he was experiencing.

“The great news is that upon physical examination, there is no evidence of the cancer,” said Peter Costantino, MD, Executive Director of the hospital’s New York Head & Neck Institute and a renowned skull-based surgeon. “The treatments so far have completely eliminated Mr. Kelly’s pain and his level of function has essentially returned to normal.”

However, a source close to the family says Kelly will have a biopsy of an area of concern, next week. Doctors saw a spot in his mouth they wanted to explore a little more carefully. The spots doctors were concerned about in the past looked “clean,”  according to the family source.

Former Bills coach Marv Levy told News 4 on Wednesday that he has been in touch with Dan Kelly, Jim’s brother.

“Jim has been fighting it so heroically and tenaciously, and it’s very uplifting to find that out. He still has other tests to undergo, Dan explained to me, and so on. But boy, what a… Wonderful to hear,” Levy said. “I was just thrilled to hear about it.”

Players, coaches and parents from the Pop Warner Bills and West Side Football – two programs that provide structure, discipline, adult role models and a positive activity to inner-city youth – also expressed their well-wishes for Kelly.

“Wanna say congratulations from the Pop Warner Bills, for being cancer-free,” said 12-year-old Devahn Carson.

“Wow, that’s amazing!” said Margus Morrison, of Buffalo. “I know that was hard, and he lost his son who had Krabbe disease. Jim… I know you’re doing good. I hope you beat cancer!”

“We need him here. Hopefully he’ll be the voice to keep the Bills in Buffalo,” said a West Side Football parent, “Big Ace.” “We just want the Bills to stay here, we want Kelly and his family to live well, and we’ll keep praying for him.”

Doctors said Kelly’s cancer is in the maxillary sinus area of his face and was spreading. But Lenox Hill Hospital says Kelly’s level of function after treatments has “essentially returned to normal.”

Kelly is scheduled to have that biopsy next Thursday. A series of tests will determine if further treatment is necessary.

“It is possible that no further treatment will be required, and the testing over the next week will define this issue,” Dr. Costantino said.

He told News 4 in April, faith is helping his entire family.

Kelly said, “You start understanding it more, the scarier it gets. But again, I have my faith, and that’s what really right now I hold onto, family and faith.”

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