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Tags: Cancer | stuart | scott | espn | appendix | cancer

Stuart Scott's Death Highlights Rare Cancer

By    |   Monday, 05 January 2015 03:31 PM

The death of longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott has thrown a spotlight on the rare form of appendiceal cancer that took his life.

Scott, who died Sunday at age 49, didn’t disclose what type of cancer he had after he was first given his diagnosis in 2007. But in an article for Men’s Health Scott wrote that he had a cancer of the appendix — and it prompted him to adopt an aggressively healthy regimen to combat the disease.
“When they told me I had cancer — a very rare form called appendiceal cancer — I was shocked. But I went straight into battle mode. Every morning I'd wake up and have an internal conversation with cancer. ‘All right, dude,’ I'd tell it, ‘go ahead and hit me. But I'm going to hit you back even harder.’

Scott said his cancer went into remission shortly after his diagnosis with appendiceal adenocarcinoma, but it returned in 2011 — and once again went into remission.
By 2013, however, it was back.

“To be honest, I'm scared. I've always been afraid of cancer, but this time feels different. My confidence is shaken. I'm a little more vulnerable, a little more aware of my mortality, a little more uncertain about my future,” wrote Scott, a father of two daughters.

Appendiceal cancer is extremely rare, affecting 600-1,000 Americans each year — a fraction of the millions of diagnosed cases. It’s a gastrointestinal cancer, which ends to be more common in African Americans and women than in men, for reasons researchers can’t explain.

More than 85 percent of patients with cancers of the appendix survive five years after diagnosis, yet Scott beat those odds — living nearly twice as long.

As with most diseases, timely diagnosis is critical to survival. Standard treatment includes surgery plus chemotherapy for cancer of the appendix, which also reportedly killed Audrey Hepburn in 1993.

Genetics are believed to be the primary cause of appendiceal cancer (not unhealthy lifestyle habits). But Scott maintained a relentless upbeat attitude after his diagnosis and would reportedly do extremely demanding mixed martial arts training or high-intensity P90X workouts, just minutes after chemotherapy sessions — possibly contributing to his survival for so many years.

In a powerful speech from the 2014 ESPYs last year, Scott gave an emotional account of his cancer battle that proved to be both prophetic and inspiring.

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer,” he said, in accepting the Jimmy Perseverence Award. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”

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ESPN anchor Stuart Scott's death has thrown a spotlight on the rare form of appendiceal cancer that took his life.
stuart, scott, espn, appendix, cancer
Monday, 05 January 2015 03:31 PM
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