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Jim Kelly announces his oral cancer has returned

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is facing another battle with cancer.

The Buffalo Bills' legend issued a statement Thursday announcing that unfortunate news.

"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.

"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 through this difficult time."

Kelly, 58, had a portion of his jaw removed after an initial bout with squamous cell carcinoma in 2013. The cancer returned in 2014, forcing him to go through a round of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. It was announced that he was cancer free in September 2014.

Kelly said in a 2016 appearance on "The Rich Eisen Show" that he undergoes an MRI every three months to see whether the cancer has returned.

"Where my cancer was, if it moves just a tiny bit ... towards the area where there's no return, it stays then there's no turning back," Kelly said then, explaining why doctors had ordered a biopsy. "Going to the dentist and ripping your gums apart – that's pretty much what they do. They take chunks of your inner skin, in your mouth way in the back where my cancer was, they just chop away and send them off to a lab and hopefully the tests come back negative."

An outpouring of support flooded social media Thursday after Kelly announced that his cancer had returned.

Twitter reacts to Jim Kelly's cancer announcement

The Bills released the following statement: "We are deeply saddened to hear the news about Jim Kelly and his impending battle with cancer. Jim is a tough and courageous man and we know he will fight this battle with strength and determination. The Buffalo Bills will support the Kelly family during this trying time and we ask our fans to pray for the family as Jim begins the treatment process and the road to recovery."

Los Angeles Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco grew up in Hamburg and attended St. Francis High School. He worked as a college summer intern for the Bills during the Super Bowl years.

"I was saddened to hear it. Our thoughts and prayers are with him," Telesco said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "He's such a big part of that community. He's got a ton of support there. Both in Buffalo and all over the world, really. Speaking as a hometown guy, I've got nothing but respect and love for him."

In an Instagram post, Kelly's wife, Jill, said, "The cancer is back. We are shocked, heartbroken, sad, angry, confused and just darn tired."

Jim Kelly diagnosis: Specialists explain squamous-cell oral cancer

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