Terry Bradshaw’s Health: His Battle With Cancer & How He’s Feeling Now

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Image Credit: JA/Everett Collection

  • Terry Bradshaw was diagnosed with bladder and skin cancer
  • After treating the bladder cancer in 2021, he was diagnosed with the rare Merkel cell skin cancer tumor a year later
  • His wife, Tammy, a former radiation therapist, said she was ‘scared’ following the second diagnosis

Football fans fell in love with Terry Bradshaw as the Super Bowl-winning quarterback in the 70s and as the amicable sports analyst on FOX NFL Sunday since 1994. In October 2022, during one of his televised broadcasts, the legendary athlete shocked his legion of followers when he revealed he had been battling both bladder cancer and skin cancer for over a year.

Terry Bradshaw health embed
Terry Bradshaw revealed he was battling cancer in 2022. (JA/Everett Collection)

As for why he kept the fight private, Terry said he didn’t want any “pity” from the public, per his Nov. 2022 Today appearance.  “I didn’t talk about it because I didn’t want pity,” he explained. “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. I didn’t want that.”

The Pro Football Hall of Famer didn’t even post about it to his social media at the time. Instead, a few weeks after the cancer reveal, he took to Instagram to share a photo with his pal William Shatner.

Even his wife, Tammy Bradshawkept the news to herself, as she said she was scared of the outcome. “The doctor calls me to tell me what it is, and then I’m shook because I was a radiation therapist for 10 years,” she told Today . “I knew where this could go. I knew what the outcomes could be. And it did scare me the second time with that diagnosis.”

With his family supporting him, including his two daughters Rachel and Erinit appeared Terry was in good hands. Here’s everything to know about his health struggles, how he’s doing today, and more.

Terry Bradshaw Diagnosed With Cancer

On the Oct. 2, 2022 episode of Fox NFL SundayTerry announced his cancer diagnosis following rumors about his health after he had ran out of breath and needed assistance during the show a week prior. “Last week on this show, I ran out of breath and (co-star) Howie (Long) helped me up and a lot of people are asking what’s wrong with me,” the star of The Bradshaw Bunch said. “I just want to address it and let you know what has happened in my life.”

“In November, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I went to the Yale University Medical Center (for) surgery, treatment. As of today, I am bladder cancer-free. Alright, 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.”

Fortunately, doctors were also able to remove the skin cancer, this time at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

What Is Merkel Cell Skin Cancer?

Terry first had to tackle his fight with bladder cancer, which develops when cells that make up the urinary bladder start to grow out of control and form tumors, according to the American Cancer Society. Over time, the cancer might grow outside the bladder and into nearby organs and structures. There are several forms of cancer that begin in the bladder, with urothelial carcinoma, also known as transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), being the most common type, per the news source.

As for Terry’s skin cancer diagnosis, the Mayo Clinic describes Merkel cell carcinoma as “a rare type of skin cancer that usually appears as a flesh-colored or bluish-red nodule, often on your face, head or neck,” and is also known as neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin. “Long-term sun exposure or a weak immune system” may increase the risk of developing it and it most often affects older people, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Both forms of cancer were treated by removing the tumors.

How Long Has Terry Bradshaw Been Sick?

When Terry shared the shocking news of his cancer in 2022, he revealed he had been diagnosed with skin cancer in November 2021. As mentioned, he beat it, but soon found out afterwards, in March 2022, that he had also developed the rare form of skin cancer.

How Is Terry Bradshaw Doing Today?

When Terry broke the news of his secret battle with cancer in Oct. 2022, he also revealed he was cancer free at the time! “Folks, I may not look like my old self, but I feel like my old self. I’m cancer-free, I’m feeling great and over time, I’m going to be back to where I normally am,” he said on Fox NFL Sunday. So I appreciate your prayers and your concern.”

He also gave a heartfelt shout out to Tammy for all the support in a follow up interview one month later. “I can’t imagine not holding her hand when we take off on a plane,” Terry said on Today. “Or when we land or when we snuggle up when we’re in bed together.”

And he said he’s ready to soak up every moment he can with his wife of 8 years. “We’re going to go to Europe, going to go to Paris, going to go to wherever we want to go. I’m going to get all this in because I feel like I don’t want to put this off anymore.” Terry quipped, “I may have 25, 30 years left, but I’m going to act like I got one.”

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