Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling only found out that he had mouth cancer after seeing a doctor for a dog bite. Yesterday, in a radio interview on WEEI, Schilling said he believed the cancer formed due to his use of chewing tobacco.
Schilling used chewing tobacco for about 30 years of his life, and while chewing tobacco hasn't been officially linked to every type of mouth cancer, it's known to be associated with a wide variety of diseases. After the cancer was discovered last February, Schilling endured chemotherapy and radiation treatment for his squamous cell carcinoma for six months, and lost about 75 pounds from treatment. The cancer is currently in remission.
As you might expect, treatment sounded awful. Via ESPN Boston:
Schilling said doctors created a pliable mask to put on his face, an implement the former pitcher said was "the strait jacket for when they are giving you radiation."
"The first day I went in, the clamped [the mask] down, they do the radiation into the tumors," Schilling said. "The second day they did it. And about the third day I started developing almost a phobia and I literally had to be medicated for the seven weeks to go and do that. I couldn't control myself under the mask."
He added: "If this happened again, I'm not sure if I would go through the treatment again, it was that painful."
You can listen to the full interview here. Schilling's voice is noticeably different.