Former Twins pitcher reveals cancer diagnosis after Spring Training check-up

A simple trip to the team doctor might have saved his life.

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Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

Former Minnesota Twins pitcher Tyler Duffey recently revealed a harrowing story about how he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this spring.

Duffey was getting his intake physical as a non-roster invitee with the Kansas City Royals when he decided to ask the doctor about something on his skin that didn't look quite right. The team dermatologist looked into it and found that there was cancerous tissue on his left shoulder.

“I don’t love that one,” Duffey recalled Royals team doctor Glenn Goldstein saying.

It was a mole that caused the alarm and it was promptly removed, something that Duffey wants everyone to know about so that they don't come into a similar situation too late.

Former Twins pitcher reveals cancer diagnosis after Spring Training check-up

Duffey lost both of his parents to cancer, his father in 2012 and his mother in 2021, which is something he tearfully acknowledged when describing how lucky he was to have caught the cancer early.

Thankfully it appears that Duffey avoided the worst-case scenario and seems to be cancer-free upon his last check up. He credits the courage of simply asking his doctor what was up with something odd he noticed as being a potentially life-saving decision.

"We caught it very early, which is the best blessing of it all and I'm able to play baseball, hopefully in a week or two," Duffey said. "It's been a weird week, a lot of emotions. But yeah, I think we're in a good place and everybody here is taking good care of me."

He's not the only professional athelte to have his life potentially saved by a visit with a team docot. NFL tight end Foster Moreau discovered he had cancer while taking a physical after signing a contract with the New Orleans Saints last offseason.

Now Duffey has potentially been saved by a similar visit.

In talking about the cancer scare, he brought up a good point in just how easy and unsuspecting cancer can be. One of the selling points of baseball is spending a nice day out in the sun at the ballpark, but it can have serious consequences if not properly prepared for.

“We’re in the sun a lot. We’re outside always, often not even thinking about it, sitting in a bullpen," Duffey said. " It takes nothing to get checked, I guess that’s the biggest thing I’ve taken from it. It’s no effort other than showing up.”

That's not something you think about, or at the very least it's soemthing we all take for granted. Duffey story is a lesson to not just ballplayers but to everyone that getting screened for cancer and taking proper precautions could make a life changing difference in the end.

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