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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hall of Fame outfielder Lou Brock says he is free of cancer more than three months after the 78-year-old St. Louis Cardinals great announced he had been diagnosed with a type of blood cancer.
Brock said in a statement Friday that a doctor's diagnosis that he had conquered multiple myeloma was "the greatest news ever." He credited God and thanked family, friends and fans for their support, saying he remained hopeful.
"My doctor informed me that I am cancer free. The battle against cancer is not easy," Brock said. "With the power of Almighty God all things are possible!"
Multiple myeloma affects plasma cells, which make antibodies to fight infection. More than 30,000 cases occur each year in the United States, and more than 115,000 worldwide. It's the second fastest growing cancer for men and the third for women, rising 2 to 3 percent per year, according to the National Cancer Institute. About 60,000 to 70,000 Americans have it now.
Nine new drugs have been approved for it since 2000 but they're not cures; only about half of U.S. patients live five years after diagnosis.
Brock's previous health issues have included having his left leg was amputated below the knee in October 2015 because of an infection caused by complications with diabetes. He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes more than 15 years ago and has worn a prosthesis since the amputation to throw out the occasional ceremonial first pitch at Cardinals games.
Brock was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1985 after a 19-season career during which he stole a National League-record 938 bases, including 118 in 1974. He had 3,023 hits and a lifetime .293 average, becoming a star after a celebrated trade from the Chicago Cubs in 1964 for pitcher Ernie Broglio.
Brock batted .391 with four home runs and 10 steals in 21 World Series games.
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