Dec 9, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling talks during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Schilling is joining ESPN

Curt Schilling thinks chewing tobacco caused his cancer

World Series hero Curt Schilling has opened up about his battle with cancer and the activity he believes led to his being diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.

Schilling talked about his cancer fight with WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan:

“You know what the amazing thing was, and I was just dumfounded by it: You’ve just been told you have cancer, and you walk out into the public, and the world’s still going on. It was really a challenge to wrap my head around that,” said Schilling, who relies heavily on his religious faith. “My second thought was, ‘Wow, really? You think I can handle this, too, huh?’ ”

Schilling was in the hospital for about six months, in part because he developed additional problems, including a staph infection.

“I got chemo and radiation for [seven] weeks, and I came back to room and my family was sitting there and I thought, ‘You know what, this could be so much worse. This could be one of my kids,” he said. “I’m the one guy in this family that can handle this. From that perspective, I’ve never said ‘Why me?’ and I never will.”

Schilling used chewing tobacco for more than 30 years, something he wishes he never did.

“I’ll go to my grave believing that was why I got what I got,” he said. “Absolutely. No question in my mind about that. … I do believe without a doubt, unquestionably, that chewing is what gave me cancer.”

Schilling’s cancer is now in remission, I am happy to report.

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Curt Schilling

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