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Dick Vitale announces he has vocal cord cancer, hopes to be ready for college basketball broadcasts

Legendary college basketball announcer Dick Vitale revealed he is going through his third battle with cancer, this time with his vocal cords. 

Vitale, 84, has had bouts with melanoma and lymphoma, both of which he won. 

In typical “Dickie V” fashion, his optimism is high. 

“I’m sorry to share that I received tough news today from Dr. Zeitels about my throat,” Vitale said on Twitter. “The tests on the tissues they removed showed that I have vocal cord cancer and will need 6 weeks of radiation to treat. Dr. Z tells me that it has an extremely high cure rate, and that radiation, not more surgery, is the best path. 

“I plan to fight like hell to be ready to call games when the college hoops season tips off in the Fall. Dr. Z feels that scenario is entirely possible.”


Prayers have poured in from many for Vitale, and they began Tuesday when he had surgery on his throat to see what was affecting his vocal cords.

Dick Vitale talks on mic

“If you have the time, send him positive thoughts and prayers,” ESPN colleague Kevin Negandhi tweeted. “The man is tougher than anyone I know but your thoughts always uplift him.”

Vitale has dealt with vocal cord issues in the past, saying last month they returned. With this surgery from Dr. Zeitels, Vitale is on “total voice rest for 6-8 weeks.”

With the ESPYS taking place tonight, Vitale is disappointed he couldn’t attend.

“This time last year, I was on the ESPYS stage, asking everyone to help in the cancer fight,” Vitale wrote. “This terrible disease strikes so many of our loved ones, and it’s now knocked on my door three different times. More research will continue to help in this fight. 

Dick Vitale looks up

“I’m grateful for my immediate family as well as my ESPN family for their incredible support, and so appreciative of the outstanding team of medical experts whose dedication has such a positive impact on so many lives. Love to all!”

Vitale was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2021, which came just months after he beat melanoma following multiple surgeries. He announced last year he was cancer free. 

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