PROVO -- The family of BYU basketball head coach Dave Rose announced Wednesday that Coach Rose has pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor cancer, a very rare form of pancreatic cancer.
Rose had emergency surgery to have his spleen and part of his pancreas removed in Las Vegas last week. Further tests performed at the Huntsman Cancer Institute showed the pancreatic cancer.
"The average survival here for neuroendocrine tumor cancer is 60 months. ... Compared to the more common type of pancreas cancer, people with this type of cancer often do very, very well," explained Dr. Randall Burt, senior director of Prevention and Outreach at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Burt continued, "cancer is never a good thing to have, and it's very difficult on anyone who has it. And outside support from loved ones, family, friends and even the public is very helpful.
Wednesday afternoon BYU president Cecil O. Samuelson released this statement:
"Coach Rose is a beloved member of our campus community. We ask all members of the BYU family, as well as Coach Rose's many friends and colleagues, to keep him in their thoughts and prayers at this time, We are grateful for the care he has received and is now receiving."
"We continue to pray for Dave and his family at this time," said Tom Holmoe, BYU Director of Athletics. "In addition to our professional relationship, I have a deep friendship and love for Dave and his family. We would ask that his privacy be respected as he recuperates from surgery and determines a course of action."
Pancreatic cancer is among the most serious forms of cancer, and the type that he has is a very rare form of it.
Former BYU guard Travis Hansen told KSL, "It is with deep sadness that we hear this news. We love Coach Rose and his wife Cheryl. He is one of my best friends on and off the court. He is a great example to me and my family. We love him and will be with him through this. Hopefully with the doctors' help and support from his family and friends, he can beat this, he is a fighter."
While Coach Rose was busy leading his Cougar team to three straight Mountain West Conference championships, he and wife Cheryl were also working diligently to help families who have children with cancer. Cheryl is vice-chairperson of the Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation. The Christmas party is one of Coach Rose's favorite events of the year.
Coach Rose is now resting at home, and soon doctors and his family will determine the next course of action.
And while he rests at home and awaits an aggressive treatment plan, his rival, Utah Head Coach Jim Boylen, is rallying around Rose. "Dave and I are a lot closer than people know," Boylen told KSL. "We have a lot of respect for each other and I was just crushed when I heard. What I'm hoping and praying for is that he can coach his team next year, and that he can keep leading that program. This is a tough day for me; I know it's a tough day for them. You're going to be all right man. I'm hoping I get to coach against him again."
While Rose undergoes medical treatment, the BYU coaching staff will run the day-to-day basketball operations, including the summer basketball camps.