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Dick Vitale announces he has vocal cord cancer

The 84-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster is bracing for this third cancer battle.
 
Dick Vitale, ESPN’s Hall of Fame college basketball analyst, is honored during the 2022 SEC men’s basketball tournament at Amalie Arena. Vitale, 84, announced Wednesday he's battling vocal cord cancer.
Dick Vitale, ESPN’s Hall of Fame college basketball analyst, is honored during the 2022 SEC men’s basketball tournament at Amalie Arena. Vitale, 84, announced Wednesday he's battling vocal cord cancer. [ ARIELLE BADER | Special to the Times ]
Published July 13, 2023|Updated July 13, 2023

Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Vitale announced via social media Wednesday evening he has been diagnosed with vocal cord cancer, his third cancer-related diagnosis in recent years.

Vitale, 84, made the announcement following a consultation with Dr. Steven Zeitels, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation in Boston. In his social media message, he said he plans to “fight like hell to be ready to call games when the college hoops season tips off in the fall.”

“Dr. Z tells me that it has an extremely high cure rate, and that radiation, not more surgery, is the best path,” Vitale wrote.

Vitale underwent a procedure earlier in the week for the removal of vocal cord tissue to determine whether it was cancerous. He previously has been treated for dysplasia (non-cancerous tissue) that required him to rest his voice for several weeks.

In 2021, he was diagnosed with lymphoma, months after undergoing multiple surgeries to remove melanoma. He meticulously documented his treatments and hospital visits as an encouragement to others to undergo routine checkups.

In April 2022, Vitale was declared cancer-free, ringing the ceremonial bell in a courtyard at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Less than two months later, he hosted his annual gala in Sarasota, which has raised more than $60 million in nearly two decades for pediatric cancer research.

“I want to say that I have been so touched by the tweets, texts, notes and prayers,” Vitale said Wednesday, “and will ask all of you to continue to send positive vibes.”

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