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NFL great says he waited a year to reveal cancer diagnoses: ‘I didn’t want pity’


NFL Hall of Famer-turned-analyst Terry Bradshaw revealed in October that he had battled two forms of cancer in the past year.

In November 2021, Bradshaw was diagnosed with bladder cancer, has had surgery and treatment and does not have bladder cancer. In March, Bradshaw was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer, underwent surgery and is now cancer free.

Terry Bradshaw gives the command to start the engines prior to the NASCAR Cup Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on July 19, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas.
(Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Bradshaw did not speak publicly about his battle with cancer for nearly a year, choosing instead to keep it to himself to avoid the appearance he was looking for sympathy.

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But in a “Fox NFL Sunday” segment in September, Bradshaw was visibly out of breath, prompting the four-time Super Bowl champion to disclose his battle with cancer the following week.

“I didn’t talk about it because I didn’t want pity,” Bradshaw said in an interview on NBC’s Today Show.

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“I think the perception around America with all the millions of people is, ‘Aw, look at it. Bless his heart. He has cancer. Well, my husband died of cancer. I didn’t want that. It took me a long time to tell my family about it.

NFL great says he waited a year to reveal cancer diagnoses: ‘I didn’t want pity’

Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke talks to Terry Bradshaw while holding the George Halas Trophy after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game at SoFi Stadium on January 30, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Bradshaw said the first cancer diagnosis – bladder cancer in November – didn’t scare him away as he relied on his faith to push it through.

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“As a man of faith – as a Christian – my attitude was, ‘Well, if I go, I’m fine. If I stay, I’m fine,'” Bradshaw said.

But the second diagnosis, the rare skin cancer discovered in March, caught his eye.

Bradshaw’s wife Tammy has revealed that as a former radiation therapist she understands the seriousness of the tumor found in her husband’s neck.

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“I knew what the results might be. And it scared me the second time around with this diagnosis,” Tammy Bradshaw said. “And, I never told him that, but inside, I carried a lot more worry and stress than I let him know, I think.”

NFL great says he waited a year to reveal cancer diagnoses: ‘I didn’t want pity’

Fox Sports’ Terry Bradshaw during the NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams on January 30, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
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Bradshaw thanks his wife for helping him through the tough time in his life.

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“I can’t say how grateful I am to him. Seriously. I can’t imagine not holding his hand when we’re taking off on a plane or snuggling up when we’re in bed together,” Bradshaw told about his wife. “Or when she’s sitting there with our sick pup and I’m watching her, and she doesn’t know I’m watching her. And I’m so grateful.”


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