Turner Sports reporter Craig Sager, who has been battling acute myleloid leukemia for two years, said in an interview with HBO's "Real Sports" that doctors have told him a person in his condition would normally have 3-6 months to live without treatment, but that time frame can vary greatly.
Sager, 64, best known for his sideline reports in colorful suits during NBA broadcasts, told HBO that he was informed in February that he was no longer in remission. He went on to discuss his conversations with doctors about his diagnosis.
"That's what I asked," said Sager in a feature that aired Tuesday night. "What are my chances? How long do I have to live? Is there a cure? They talked in terms -- everybody is totally different. I go, 'I know, what are the chances?' And (the doctors said), 'Well, you've normally got 3-6 months to live. But somebody may have only a week. ... Somebody, it could be five years. You could be the person with the five years.'
"I go, 'Well, whatever it takes, let's get doing it.' I'm not going to be that 3-6 months. I'm going to be that five years. I think we're going to make medical history."
Sager issued a statement Wednesday clarifying that the 3-6 month prognosis is for a patient that isn't receiving treatment.
"Fortunately, I am receiving the best treatment in the world and I remain fully confident I will win this battle," Sager said in the statement. "... I look forward to continuing my work on the sidelines for Turner Sports."
Thoughts and prayers for Craig Sager and his family. Keep on fighting man. #prayforsager— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 22, 2016
My prayers goes out to one of the best to ever do it Craig Sager!! Please Stay Strong. #CancerSucks— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 22, 2016
Sager said he has already undergone two stem cell treatments, two bone marrow transplants from his son, Craig, and an experimental treatment of round-the-clock chemotherapy for two straight weeks.
After missing most of 11 months for treatment and twice being told he had a very limited time to live, Sager returned to work this season despite having to juggle his schedule for further treatments. Doctors have given him the go-ahead to keep working, including plans to cover the NBA playoffs this spring and the Rio Olympics in August.
"Still kicking, still fighting," Sager said. "I haven't won the battle. It's not over yet. But I haven't lost it, either. There have been some victories and some setbacks, but I still have to fight it. A lot of work to do."