Basketball Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Diagnosed With Cancer

Celebrity News Nov. 10, 2009 AT 9:55AM
Basketball Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Diagnosed With Cancer Credit: Jemal Countess/WireImage.com

Former Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, he announced Tuesday.

Receiving the diagnosis last December, Abdul-Jabbar, 62, says he is currently undergoing treatment for the form of blood cancer, abbreviated CML, which involves checking his blood levels on a regular basis.

While the 7-foot-2 NBA star will not disclose his prognosis, he confirms he is managing his disease, which "doesn't impact my life too significantly."

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As a result of his diagnosis, Abdul-Jabbar has made it a mission to educate others about the importance of early detection, partnering with pharmaceutical company Novartis to travel the country and educate others about CML and other cancers.

"I think it's possible for someone in my position to help save lives," he told CNN.

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The National Cancer Institute describes CML as a "slowly progressing disease in which too many white blood cells are made in the bone marrow."

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