Mumme Battles Prostate Cancer

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Last month, former UK football coach Hal Mumme was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He'll be treated for the disease in Lexington which he left in the midst of a recruiting scandal in 2000.

After admitting that he waited too long to get the test that would have determined the presence of cancer, Coach Mumme is not waiting any longer. His prostate surgery is scheduled for Wednesday.

Mumme walked into Tuesday's new conference with the same look of focused determination that he exhibited so often at Commonwealth Stadium. Then he told the media about the reason he chose UK's Markey Cancer Center for his surgery, "We had a lof of options of where we could go, but the great people at this institution and the care they gave my wife, June, when she was treated for breast cancer made it our first choice."

He was even more convinced when he learned that UK used the robotic assisted da Vinci prostate surgery. Dr. Stephen Strup, the Chief of Urological Surgery at the Markey Center, explains the procedure like this, "Eventually we may get to the point where we send the robot into the room and out comes the prostate, but for now, it allows us to perform our craft with precision and excellence."

Coach Mumme learned in the middle of last season at New Mexico State that he might have prostate cancer, but he kept concentrating on football and put off a biopsy.

Now, looking back, he says, "That was pure stupidity. I would not recommend it, and I decided I should tell everybody that and be an advocate for men not doing what I did and ignoring the situation."

Mumme's sense of humor was evident when he refuted a report out of El Paso, Texas, that he has brain cancer in addition to the prostate problem. He says, "There's probably a lot of people that have questioned if I had brain cancer at times, usually on fourth down. But no, I don't have brain cancer. None of that report is correnct."

His doctors say if the surgery goes well, Mumme could be back on the sidelines this fall. First he must find a new coaching job after being fired at New Mexico State in December.

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