Doctors say Chuck Pagano's leukemia now in remission

Doctors say Chuck Pagano's leukemia now in remission
Doctors say Chuck Pagano's leukemia now in remission

The best story this NFL season keeps getting better. Not only are the Colts 5-3 after mustering just two wins in 2011, but first-year head coach Chuck Pagano, who has been battling leukemia since a September diagnosis, is in remission, according to doctors.

It's great news for Pagano, who has been hospitalized while undergoing chemotherapy in recent weeks, but doctors warn that "remission" shouldn't be confused with "cured." Oncologist Dr. Larry Cripe, an associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University Health Simon Cancer Center, tells the Indianapolis Star that doctors know that Pagano's form of leukemia -- acute promyelocytic leukemia -- can recur if a patient receives just one round of chemotherapy. The plan is for Pagano to undergo three rounds of treatment over a course of two years.

A bone-marrow aspirate test didn't detect any sign of leukemia, prompting Cripe to say Pagano was in remission.

"We need to keep going and we will not be able to use the word 'cure' for four or five years," Cripe said.

Pagano's next round of chemotherapy won't be as intense as the first, and the Star reports that 80-90 percent of people diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia can be cured thanks to new advances in medicine.

Following Sunday's win over the Dolphins, Pagano gave an impassioned speech to his team (watch it above), not only about football but about life.

"That's why you're already champions and well on your way," he said. "I got circumstances. You guys understand it. I understand it. It's already beat. It's already beat. My vision that I'm living is to see two more daughters get married, dance at their weddings and then hoist that Lombardi several times. I'm dancing at two more weddings and we're hoisting that trophy together."

Originally posted by Ryan Wilson on