Curt Schilling says his recent battle with mouth cancer was due to his use of chewing tobacco. Credit: Getty Images
During an appearance on WEEI sports radio's “Dennis & Callahan” show Wednesday, former Red Sox and Phillies pitching great Curt Schilling revealed the type of cancer he recently battled, stating that he believes his use of chewing tobacco during his playing days led to mouth cancer. Schilling recently announced that his cancer is in remission.
“I’ll go to my grave believing that [chewing tobacco] was why I got what I got,” Schilling said on air during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon, which raises money for cancer research. “Absolutely. No question in my mind about that. I do believe without a doubt, unquestionably, that chewing is what gave me cancer.”
“I’m not going to sit up here from the pedestal and preach about chewing,” Schilling added. “I will say this: I did it for about 30 years. It was an addictive habit, I can think about so many times in my life when it was so relaxing to just sit back and have a dip and do whatever. And I lost my sense of smell, my taste buds for the most part, I had gum issues, they bled, all this other stuff. None of it was enough to ever make me quit."
Tony Gwynn, a Hall of Fame player for the San Diego Padres who played during Schilling's era, died died of salivary gland cancer on June 16 and had blamed his use of chewing tobacco as well.
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