NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly has received encouraging news in his battle with cancer.
An initial physical exam showed no evidence of sinus cancer three months after the former Buffalo Bills quarterback completed radiation and chemotherapy treatments, Dr. Peter Costantino said in a release issued by New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital on Wednesday.
“The treatments have so far completely eliminated Mr. Kelly’s pain, and his level of function has essentially returned to normal,” said Costantino, who heads the hospital’s head and neck institute. “Further, on physical examination, there is no evidence of the cancer.”
The statement was issued a day after Kelly visited the hospital for a follow-up examination.
Costantino said a series of tests over the next week will determine if further treatments are necessary.
“It is possible that no further treatment will be required,” he said.
Kelly had surgery in June 2013 to remove cancerous cells in his upper jaw. The cancer then spread to his sinus in March.
Kelly’s wife Jill welcomed the news in a note posted on her Instagram account.
“We have come away from our checkup visit in NYC encouraged and hopeful,” she wrote.
She added that the follow-up tests will include biopsies to confirm the cancer has been eradicated.
Kelly was in a weakened state following a two-month barrage of treatments last spring.
In one of his first public appearances following the treatments, Kelly surprised Bills players and staff by showing up to one of their final minicamp practices in June.
Kelly was then strong enough to attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Canton, Ohio, three weeks ago, when former Bills teammate, receiver Andre Reed, was among the seven inductees. Reed closed his speech by having Kelly throw him a pass on stage.
A day later, Kelly served as the Bills honorary captain before their preseason-opening game against the New York Giants.
Kelly’s battle with cancer has been a public one, and attracted thousands of supporters and well-wishers on social media.
“Kelly Tough” and “Prayers For JK” have become catch phrases and hashtags on Twitter by those voicing their support for Kelly.
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