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Timberwolves Head Coach Flip Saunders diagnosed with "treatable" Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Yash Matange
606   //    12 Aug 2015, 18:08 IST
Flip Saunders-President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Flip Saunders press announcement

Flip Saunders is diagnosed with a Hodgkins Lymphoma and has been undergoing chemotherapy, the Minnesota Timberwolves announced on Tuesday. He said that his doctors had mentioned his condition a very treatable and curable form of cancer. As of today, Saunders plans on continuing his role as both the Head Coach and the President of Basketball Operations for the Timberwolves franchise.

As he nears the end of his chemo sessions, league sources say that Saunders’ spirit seem upbeat. 

"Being a coach, his reaction when he found out he had cancer was, 'What's the game plan?' " that person close to Saunders said. "He sees this like [basketball] -- you've got to respect that opponent."

"I am taking it step-by-step and day-by-day to understand how to best manage this process," Saunders said in a statement released by the team. "I want to thank Dr. Burns as well as my medical team at Mayo Clinic for their hard work in diagnosing my situation and creating a plan to help me achieve a cancer-free outcome. I am attacking this with the same passion I do everything in my life, knowing this is a serious issue. I also know that God has prepared me to fight this battle."

Saunders was first diagnosed with the disease eight weeks ago- just before the NBA Draft during a check up by team physician Sheldon Burns. The treatment program immediately at Mayo Clinic and despite the treatments going on, Saunders showed good energy when it came to his duties of handling the media and public relations during the Draft. He also required to put in extra hours of work and travel for the Wolves’ new downtown training facility. 

What is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a type of lymphoma in which the cancer originates from a specific type of white blood cells called Lymphocytes. The disease is named after Dr. Thomas Hodgkin who was the first to discover abnormalities in the lymph system way back in 1832. 

The disease shows its occurrence in two peaks: the first in young adulthood (age 15-25) and the second in those over the age of 55. This Lymphoma can be treated with radiation, chemotherapy or hematopoeitic stem cell transplantation, with the choice of treatment depending on the sex and age of the patient and the stage, bulk and histological subtype of the disease.

Aged 60, Saunders has been part of the NBA fraternity for the past 20 years and as he continues on his journey of fighting this disease, we at Sportskeeda wish him a speedy recovery.

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