Vitale, 84, a longtime ESPN broadcaster and former basketball coach, revealed that he has vocal cord cancer and will undergo six weeks of radiation treatment, but specified that he will not undergo surgery, after previous battles with melanoma and lymphoma.
"I'm sorry to share that I received tough news today from Dr. Zeitels about my throat," Vitale wrote in a statement shared on his social media accounts. "The tests on the tissues they removed showed that I have vocal cord cancer and will need 6 weeks of radiation to treat it. Dr. Z tells me that it has an extremely high cure rate, and that radiation, not more surgery, is the best path.
"I plan to fight like hell to be ready to call games when the college hoops season tips off in the Fall. Dr. Z feels that scenario is entirely possible. I want to say that I have been so touched by the tweets, texts, notes, and prayers, and will ask all of you to continue to send positive vibes."
Vitale has contributed to ESPN's college hoops coverage in 1979, the network's launch year, following stints as the head coach at the University of Detroit Mercy from 1973-77 and the Detroit Pistons from 1978-79. The New Jersey native is one of the most recognizable and beloved figures in the history of college basketball, having been inducted into both the Basketball Hall of Fame and College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.
Vitale was initially diagnosed with lymphoma in 2021, just months after undergoing surgery to remove melanoma and previously announced that he was cancer free in 2022.