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Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly says oral cancer has returned

Feb 3, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Jim Kelly during red carpet arrivals for the NFL Honors show at Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium at the University of Minnesota. Photo courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly announced Thursday that he is fighting oral cancer for the third time.

"As our family has faced many trials and triumphs throughout the years, you have blessed us with your prayers. We are asking for those prayers again," Kelly, 58, said in a statement. "The oral cancer we hoped would be gone forever has returned. Although I was shocked and deeply saddened to receive this news, I know that God is with me. I continuously talk about the four F's. Faith, Family, Friends and Fans. With all of you by my side, we will fight and win this battle together. Staying 'Kelly Tough' and trusting God will carry us though this difficult time."

In June 2013, Kelly had surgery to remove cancerous cells in his upper jaw, with doctors installing a prosthesis to replace the teeth and bone removed during the surgery. Nine months later, he announced that the cancer had returned and had aggressively spread to his brain. He underwent months of treatment, including chemotherapy, that removed the cancerous cells.

"Jim is a tough and courageous man and we know he will fight this battle with strength and determination," the Bills said in a statement Thursday.

After leading the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls over his 11-year NFL career, Kelly was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002, his first year of eligibility.

Author information: After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt Bonesteel and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and The Post's other Web-based products.