Blog Entry

Gwynn recovering from cancer

Posted on: February 12, 2011 8:03 pm

GwynnTony Gwynn is a happy man once again, but he wasn't so happy this past fall when he battled cancer.

Gwynn, who coaches baseball at San Diego State University, was rocked by the news he had cancer after he underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his parotid -- a salivary gland in the jaw. After all, he had two benign tumors excised from the location before.

This time was different.

The Hall-of-Famer suffered paralysis in the right side of his face after the surgery and was unable to blink his right eye, as the Los Angeles Times reports. Smiling and laughing was a difficult chore. For someone who has a reputation as one of the most genial players in modern baseball, this was unthinkable.

Gwynn became a ghost at SDSU, with assistant coach Mark Martinez shouldering the load in the past. And when players did get a glimpse of Gwynn, they could tell something was different.

Senior outfielder Pat Colwell said Gwynn tends to have "a glow about him. He jokes around; he has a huge smile. That just wasn't there."

But now, as Gwynn puts it, "things are about back to normal."

Gone is the walker used to get around after radiation and chemotherapy sapped his strength and whisked away 80 pounds from his 300-plus-pound body. Treatment was completed in December and while he refused to call himself cured, is beginning an exercise program and has made another healthy lifestyle change in quitting chewing tobacco, which can lead to all types of cancers, especially in the mouth.

"I haven't had any setbacks whatsoever," Gwynn said. "I'm getting control of my face again."

Gwynn isn't quite back to work yet, but fully expects to be back on the bench Feb. 18 for the Aztecs' opener and also intends to continue his role broadcasting Padres games on local TV.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Tags: Tony Gwynn

Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 2:00 pm

Gwynn recovering from cancer

Hi. I look at as a result of only a few within just your other posts and i preferred to say thanks for that invaluable posts.

Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: February 12, 2011 10:56 pm

Gwynn recovering from cancer

I chewed tobacco on a regular basis for 25 years until recently. While I don't have mouth cancer, it definitely caused permanant damage from a dental standpoint. I remember buying my first can of skoal at age 13 and thought it was such a cool thing. Despite being eventually a HS and collegiate swimmer at a high level, I always chewed. Countless swimming practices I swam with a wad in my mouth and would "throw it out" in the gutter at the bottom of the pool when the coach wasn't looking. I started noticing dental issues before the age of 30. I floss religiously after every meal and do everything in my power to preserve what I have. However, through gum recession and other issues, I anticipate needing dentures before I am 50. As with people in general, many don't see the error in their ways until damage has already been done. I thought it was cool and macho as a teen and it became an addiction. The results of usage like cigarettes don't happen overnight when you are a kid. 15 years down the road you'll see them. I guarantee it.

Since: Mar 25, 2008
Posted on: February 12, 2011 9:45 pm

Gwynn recovering from cancer

After having a former college roommate die from throat cancer at 40 who always used chewing tobacco, it was good to see that a person as famous as Ton y Gwynn bring attention to another form of tobacco which causes cancer.  I'm very hopeful that Gwynn, who by all accounts is a class act, will beat cancer and his fight will have a positive impact on a whole generation of upcoming players.  Already, we've seen Steve Strasbug go public about his current efforts to give up chewing tobacco and hopefully this will rub off on other major leaguers.

Since: Nov 3, 2009
Posted on: February 12, 2011 8:51 pm

Gwynn recovering from cancer

Tony Gwynn has always been an exceptional person by all accounts off the field of play and without question, one of the greatest hitters of all time. To hear that he is coming around and feeling much better in his bout against cancer is wonderful news. While he use to chew tobacco and now has quit, is a good statement for our younger generation of upcoming players. Many baseball players when I was growing up, took to chewing tobacco because they saw many major leaguers doing it. Having played professional baseball, I saw many young guys trying it out and I even saw a couple of guys swallow a whole wad of tobacco and got sick. The bottom line is tobacco in general causes all types of cancers, regardless of whether it is being inhaled or chewed. Hopefully, Gywnn's experience is a lesson for all of us.

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