Hall of Fame Padre Tony Gwynn Announces Cancer

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Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn announced that he is undergoing treatment for cancer in one of his salivary glands.

The cancer was found in his parotid gland which is the largest of the saliva glands.  Since 1997, Gwynn has had three tumors removed from the parotid gland, all of which were found to be non-cancerous.  But in his latest operation last month, doctors discovered a malignant growth.  Three lymph nodes were removed and the test results revealed that it was in fact cancer in the parotid gland.

Doctors believe that they have caught the cancer early and described it as “slow-moving but aggressive.”  Gwynn told the Union-Tribune that is “going to be aggressive and not slow-moving in treating this.”

Gwynn, who goes in today for a consultation, said that he will face up to two months of radiation treatments, as well as chemotherapy once a week.

Gwynn has attributed the cause of his cancer to his use of chewing tobacco throughout his career.  There have, however, been no studies linking chewing tobacco to parotid cancer.

San Diegans are familiar with Gwynn, as he played all 20 of his major league seasons for the San Diego Padres.  In 15 of those seasons, Gwynn was named an all-star.  He ranks 19th in the MLB as a career .338 hitter, and 18th in hits with 3,141.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall-of-Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2007

50 year-old Gwynn has coached the SDSU baseball team since 2003 and plans to return to doing so.

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