Jim Kelly’s tentatively scheduled surgery was called off Wednesday, and his doctor released a statement saying Kelly’s cancer is “very treatable.”
The change of plan was revealed by Kelly’s wife, Jill, on Wednesday afternoon.
Kelly is being treated in New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital, which released a statement saying Kelly would begin his cancer treatment under the direction of Dr. Peter D. Costantino, executive director of the hospital’s New York Head and Neck Institute and a renowned skull-based surgeon.
“Dr. Costantino said his likely treatment regimen will begin with chemotherapy, radiation and potentially surgery,” the hospital’s statement said. “Dr. Costantino describes this as a well-recognized strategy designed to treat the cancer present in Mr. Kelly’s maxillary sinus and adjacent tissues.”
“Jim Kelly’s condition remains very treatable and potentially curable,” Dr. Costantino said. “Our immediate focus is on controlling his pain and beginning the process of eradicating the cancer.”
The maxillary sinus is the largest of four air-filled sinus cavities that surround the nose.
Kelly, 54, learned that cancer had returned about two weeks ago during a follow-up visit to doctors at Erie County Medical Center. He had undergone surgery at ECMC on June 7 after being diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.
The Kellys learned earlier this week that surgery was being considered for today.
“Because of the complexity and aggressive nature of this cancer and after more scans and tests, the plan has changed,” Jill Kelly wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon.
“The cancer is in areas that surgery cannot successfully eradicate. Therefore, the medical specialists here in NYC along with our Buffalo team believe that chemotherapy and radiation are the best option.”
The seriousness of Kelly’s battle against cancer has prompted a flood of thousands of messages of support for the Kellys on social media.
“If you’ve dealt with cancer you know that you never really know for sure what each moment will hold,” Jill Kelly said. “Thank you for walking along side us, lifting us up in prayer, loving us, and hoping.”