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Jim Kelly receives encouraging news in battle with cancer

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Preliminary examinations show that Jim Kelly may be cancer-free, but he has further tests next week to confirm. Further treatment may be necessary.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is not out of the woods yet, but preliminary scan results indicate that he may be cancer-free.

"Upon physical examination, there is no evidence of the cancer," said Dr. Peter Costantino in a statement released Tuesday. "The treatments so far have completely eliminated Mr. Kelly’s pain, and his level of function has essentially returned to normal."

Next week, Kelly's tissue will be biopsied to confirm whether or not the cancer has been fully eliminated. Should that test show the presence of cancer, the doctors already have a good idea of what further treatment would entail.

"Should treatment be required, it would likely consist of surgery followed by a form of highly focused radiation referred to as Gamma Knife Therapy," Dr. Constantino said. "It is possible that no further treatment will be required, and the testing over the next week will define this issue."

Because of next week's tests, the Kellys have been merely cautiously optimistic in their statements on the matter, despite the early positive news. Kelly is still asking for prayers, and his wife, Jill, describes the family as "encouraged and hopeful" heading into next week.

Kelly was diagnosed with a cancer recurrence back in March. He finished up a rigorous chemotherapy and radiation regimen over the summer in an initial round of treatment that left him weakened, but he had recovered enough to make the trip out to Canton, Ohio three weeks ago for teammate Andre Reed's Hall of Fame enshrinement.