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What Cancer Patients Like Jim Kelly Will Go Through

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) As Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly began treatment for cancer, Kelly will face some side effects of both radiation and chemotherapy, but not right away.

"Radiation therapy is like a through and through sunburn," explains Dr. Anarug Singh of Roswell Park Cancer Institute. "The radiation goes right through the patient, and the beams are targeted so a greater dose is aimed at the tumors." Singh says the effects won't be evident immediately. "Nothing much happens the first couple of weeks, but in weeks 3-5, the radiation side effects build up over time. Imagine the back of your throat having a sunburn like effect, it's no fun at all." By the seventh week, the body responds by creating heavy amounts of mucus, which Singh describes as "the worst cold of your life, multiplied by 1,000."

When it comes to chemotherapy, side effects tend to be nausea and loss of taste, and Singh says that can be relieved by medicine. "Some patients will have their first dose and do fine, others will have it and deal with the side effects," explains Singh.

As Kelly's treatment begins, his wife Jill posted the following video from former Bufalo Bill  wide receiver Andre Reed, wishing Jim well


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