ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al
Unser was resting and expected to make a full recovery after
doctors in Colorado removed a tumor from his liver Wednesday.
"He's good for another 100,000 miles," joked Unser's wife,
Susan. "The doctor is 99 percent sure they got all of it. There's
no evidence it spread anywhere."
The surgery was performed at University of Colorado Hospital in
Unser was hospitalized in his hometown of Albuquerque last month
for treatment of pancreatitis and gallstones, but the liver
operation became necessary after a biopsy disclosed the tumor.
Unser has a genetic condition called hemochromatosis, his wife
said, causing him to retain excess iron. It apparently caused the
2-centimeter tumor to develop.
Doctors removed half of Unser's liver as well as his gall
bladder during the Colorado procedure. Gall bladder surgery
initially had been scheduled for last month in New Mexico.
"But they never got that far with the gall bladder," Susan
Unser said. "They found the tumor when they did a CT scan. That's
when they found his gallstones, but they also found this cancer."
The 66-year-old Unser is expected to remain hospitalized for
about two weeks.
He first complained of abdominal pain while changing a flat tire
on his motor home during a drive to California in October. Waiting
for a tow truck, he grew uncomfortable and was examined in Arizona
before returning to Albuquerque.
The family had been trying to downplay Unser's health out of
concerns for his privacy, but word of the tumor leaked late
"It's been hard to keep this a secret," Susan Unser said. "He
just wanted to make sure it was either really bad news or really
good news before putting it out. We're thankful it's really glad