Remy: Cancer has recurred

BOSTON -- Former Red Sox player Jerry Remy, who has morphed into a New England icon since becoming the team’s TV color analyst in 1988, revealed in an interview aired on the team’s regional sports network that he had a recurrence of lung cancer this past January.

During Wednesday’s rain delay, Remy said a tumor was discovered in a different spot than the original tumor, which required surgery that involved the removal of what he estimated was a third of his lung.

This time, Remy said, he did not need surgery, but flew back from spring training in March for four days of radiation treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital. “I had treatments on a Tuesday through Friday, flew back Saturday and did a game Sunday,’’ Remy said.

Since he was originally diagnosed with cancer, Remy has gone for regular CT scans every six months. He said doctors have closely monitored one suspicious area almost from the beginning, but biopsies have been negative. That was not the case this past January.

“When I went in it had grown a little,’’ Remy said. “They biopsied it again and this time it came up positive.’’

Remy said his condition will require more frequent checkups, every three to six months, but he said he was confident that, as in the first instance, doctors discovered the tumor early before the cancer had had a chance to spread.

“I told fans I’d be honest with them,’’ he said Wednesday night. “Stories come out every time I miss a game, ‘He’s got this and got that.’ Last year when I missed games I was just sick. It had nothing to do with cancer.

“So I said I’d be honest, and I’m being honest. I go along with my daily life, do what I do, and keep an eye on it every three to six months.’’

Remy said the doctors are not in a position to give him a long-range prognosis.

“They can’t give you an answer,’’ he said. “They really don’t know. You just go every six months, hope nothing changed.

“I don’t think you ever forget you have cancer. It doesn’t keep me up every night. I wish I didn’t have it, but I feel very fortunate the doctors I have have been on top of it and get it before it spreads.’’

Remy, a long-time smoker, was asked if he continues to smoke.

“I’m like Obama,’’ he said. “I chew a lot of gum, and I cheat.’’