Boston Red Sox

Curt Schilling Blames Tobacco For Cancer

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Curt SchillingCurt Shilling, former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, revealed on Wednesday the specific type of cancer he was battling for the first time, squamous cell carinoma, a mouth cancer that Schilling believes was caused by his chewing tobacco.

During Schilling’s battle against cancer, the former pitcher has lost 75 pounds, and told the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon, that he believes the cancer was a result of the pitchers 30 year habit of chewing tobacco.

“I do believe, without a doubt, unquestionably that chewing was what gave me cancer,” he said. “I’m not going to sit up here from the pedestal and preach about chewing.”

Schilling said that he spent 6 months in the hospital getting chemotherapy and radiation treatments for the cancer, but at one point he developed a staph infection, and there is a week of his life he doesn’t remember.

“I got chemo and radiation for [seven] weeks, and I came back to my room and my family was sitting there and I thought, ‘You know what, this could be so much worse. This could be one of my kids,'” Schilling said. “I’m the one guy in this family that can handle this. From that perspective, I’ve never said ‘Why me?’ and I never will.”

Schilling has also said that the most painful part of the treatment he has undergone was the radiation treatment he underwent 5 days a week for 7 weeks.

“The first day I went in, they clamped [the mask] down, they do the radiation into the tumors,” Schilling said. “The second day they did it. And about the third day I started developing almost a phobia and I literally had to be medicated for the seven weeks to go and do that. I couldn’t control myself under the mask.”

He added: “If this happened again, I’m not sure if I would go through the treatment again, it was that painful.”

Schilling announced the cancer was in remission in June, and is currently maintaining his scheduled doctor visits to ensure that he hasn’t relapsed.

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