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Hall of fame quarterback Jim Kelly announces his cancer is back

BUFFALO, N.Y.  -- Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly has once again been diagnosed with oral cancer. Kelly released a statement Thursday through his publicist saying he is "shocked and deeply saddened" by the news, and vows to once again to fight to overcome the disease. He did not go into specifics on the diagnoses except to say the cancer was discovered following a test.

"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 once again," Kelly said. "With all of you by my side, we will fight and win this battle together."

Kelly then closed his statement by saying: "Staying 'Kelly Tough' and trusting God will carry us through this difficult time."

The diagnosis comes a few weeks after Kelly celebrated his 58th birthday.

Kelly was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in 2013, and a year later contracted MRSA in his bones, shortly after having been declared cancer-free. He had a portion of his jaw removed after the initial diagnosis, but the cancer returned in 2014. He underwent chemotherapy and radiation at that time, and was again diagnosed as cancer-free in September 2014. He then had a brief scare in 2016.

The effects of the cancer and treatments led to Kelly having trouble speaking. He could also no longer produce saliva and had lost the sense of taste.

"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 released by the team. "The Buffalo Bills will support the Kelly family during this trying time, and we ask our fans to pray for the family, as Jim beings the treatment process and the road to recovery."