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Doctors declare Dave Rose cancer-free, for the time being



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PROVO -- BYU head basketball coach Dave Rose revealed he'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last week. Late Wednesday afternoon, he and his doctor sat down with reporters to explain his treatment and prognosis.

Rose had good news for the media: After having a cancerous tumor removed, the coach and his doctor said, as of right now, there are no signs of cancer.

"I'm grateful to my family, especially my wife, Cheryl, for being with me all the way through it. It was as difficult as anything that I've been through, but I feel like I got a second chance ... and I'm ready to go," Rose said.

He continued, saying, "I believe that I've been hit with a challenge, but it's a challenge that is manageable," Rose said. "I believe I'm a lucky guy. I have a challenge, but I can handle it."

Rose's doctor at the Huntsman Cancer Institute is BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson's son, Dr. Scott Samuelson. He says though the prognosis looks good, Rose's battle with cancer may not be entirely over.

"The scans show no signs of cancer, but like I told the Rose family, that doesn't mean it can't come back. But the encouraging thing about this is if it were to come back, it would come back a long time from now," Samuelson said.

He went on to explain, "Neuroendocrine carcinomas are malignant tumors but tend to be more indolent than the adenocarcinomas do. What I mean by that is they grow more slowly. When they spread, they tend to spread much more slowly and in a less-aggressive pattern than they would otherwise, which is the primary reason why the prognosis is much more favorable."

Rose says he plans to continue coaching, but he will have to take breaks for the next little while.

"I have to go home and nap, and I feel great. I'm 51 and I don't want to have to take three naps a day, bit if that's what I need to do, that's what I will do. When I feel good, I feel really good," Rose said.

The coach will not have to undergo chemotherapy treatments because, as of right now, there is nothing to treat. But he will have to have scans every three to six months to monitor his progress.

"Just thank you. Thank you everyone for your find words, your well-wishes, your prayers; and I believe that I'm a lucky guy," Rose told reporters.

E-mail: rzundel@ksl.com

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