Tony Gwynn Has Cancer, Blames Chewing TobaccoS

Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn is about to start radiation and chemo for parotid cancer discovered last month. He says the doctors told him "they feel they caught the cancer early and there was not much of it there."

He expects to return as San Diego State's baseball coach.

"I see this as a blessing. The doctors have told me I am going to be OK. But this is time to change a lot of things. I've got to lose some weight and take care of my back so I can be there and enjoy my family."

He is also concerned that the cancer could be linked to his career-long practice of using chewing tobacco.

"I haven't discussed that with the doctors yet, but I'm thinking it's related to dipping," said Gwynn, who resumed the practice of using chewing tobacco after the first two surgeries.

Dr. Kevin Brumund, a neck and throat specialist at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center, said there have been no studies showing a link between parotid cancer and chewing tobacco. [Sign On San Diego]