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Dave Dravecky - Getting The Bad News

doctors arm tumor cancer

Traded to the San Francisco Giants in 1987, Dravecky continued to show the form that won him acclaim. He again pitched in the postseason and went on to gain a shutout during the Giants' opening day in 1988. But something was amiss with Dravecky's left arm. He initially experienced stiffness in his shoulder, which led to a three-week stint on the disabled list. Doctors detected a

Dave Dravecky

lump, but told Dravecky that it was only a harmless cyst. But the pitcher suspected a deeper problem.

Dravecky and his wife, Jan, left San Francisco in September 1988, returning home to Ohio where he could have more tests done. According to a Newsmakers essay, "he and his wife were waiting for the news when they heard the doctors discussing his case through an open door. The diagnosis of cancer was almost certain, and major surgery was inevitable. The Draveckys heard the worst before the doctors could break it to them gently." A biopsy had revealed a rare form of cancer known as a desmoid tumor. The malignancy was positioned on Dravecky's left deltoid muscle, a crucial muscle that allows pitchers to wind up and extend the arm during a throw. To save Dravecky's arm—and his life—the tumor would have to be removed, along with a large portion of the patient's arm.

On October 7, 1988—the Dravecky's wedding anniversary—Dave Dravecky underwent surgery at Ohio's Cleveland Clinic. Doctors removed the tumor and most of the deltoid muscle that surrounded it. To combat the cancer's return, the doctors froze Dravecky's upper arm bone where the tumor had been, leaving a fist-sized pit in the front of his upper arm. From the beginning, Dravecky had been advised that he would never pitch again. But he had other plans.

Dave Dravecky - A Brief, Bright Comeback [next]

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almost 9 years ago

dave is amazing that he came back but then he got cancer again