NFL Legend Terry Bradshaw Reveals Why He Hid His Cancer Diagnosis
Terry Bradshaw, the legendary NFL star, hid his cancer diagnosis from the public for over a year because he "didn't want pity."
The NFL legend Terry Bradshaw is opening up this week about why he decided to wait over a year to announce his cancer diagnosis to the world.
Exclusive: Terry Bradshaw opens up to @HarrySmith about his cancer battle and why he waited a year to go public with it.
“Cancer shows no favoritism,” the former Steelers quarterback told TODAY. pic.twitter.com/r4U3DCd3OY
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 2, 2022
‘I Didn’t Want Pity’
“I didn’t talk about it because I didn’t want pity,” Bradshaw, 74, told Today. “I didn’t talk about it because a lot of celebrities — unfortunately, I’m one of those — when they say this, I think the perception around America with all the millions of people is, ‘Aw, look at him. Bless his heart. He has cancer. Well, my husband died of cancer! My kids are…’ I didn’t want that.”
“Took me a long time before I told my family,” he added, going on to say that he only decided to go public after he received some harsh criticism from fans.
“I couldn’t breathe,” Bradshaw recounted. “That’s when everybody notices. ‘What’s wrong with him?’ Social media went, ‘Get rid of him. He needs to be off the air. He’s an embarrassment.’ And I was like, ‘Embarrassment? I got cancer.'”
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Bradshaw then credited his wife Tammy for going above and beyond to help him through this.
“I can’t put into words how thankful I am for her. Seriously. I can’t imagine not holding her hand when we take off on a plane or when we land or when we snuggle up when we’re in bed together,” he said. “I look at her and she doesn’t know I’m looking at her, and I’m so thankful now I’m getting emotional.”
— E! Entertainment (@eentertainment) September 3, 2020
Bradshaw Announces Cancer Battles
This comes one month after Bradshaw made the shocking revelation that he’d been diagnosed with cancer twice in the past year.
“Last week on this show, I ran out of breath, and Howie [Long] helped me up. And a lot of people are asking what’s wrong with me, what’s happened to me physically,” Bradshaw said at the time, according to People Magazine. “I just want to address it and let you know what has happened in my life.”
“In November, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer,” he continued. “I went to the Yale University Medical Center — surgery, treatment. As of today, I am bladder-cancer free. That’s the good news. Then in March, feeling good. I had a bad neck. I get an MRI. Now we find a tumor in my left neck. And it’s a Merkel cell tumor, which is a rare form of skin cancer. So I had that surgery done at M.D. Anderson in Houston.”
During today's show, Terry Bradshaw shared that he has been battling cancer over the past year. As of today, he is cancer free, and he discussed his fight and plan for the future: pic.twitter.com/RSwVxlXC97
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 2, 2022
‘I’m Cancer Free’
Bradshaw then said that he is “cancer free.”
“Folks, I may not look like my old self, but I feel like my old self,” he stated. “I’m cancer free, I’m feeling great. And over time, I’m going to be back to where I normally am.”
Bradshaw is now planning to sell his ranch in Oklahoma and move to a small farm in Texas. Even throughout all the challenges of the past year, Bradshaw said he was “never was scared.”
“I don’t think cancer cares,” he said. “Cancer shows no favoritism.”
Bradshaw is a true legend who has brought joy to millions with both his football abilities and then his commentary. We’re glad to see that he is cancer free, and we pray for his good health in the years to come!