Many of us knew that LeBron James had surgery just after the season ended to remove a growth in his jaw. What we didn't know is that doctors found the growth in January and tested the growth to see if it could possibly be cancerous.
James talked to Brian Windhorst about those nervous few days in January -
"It was a nerve-racking experience but I knew at that point I had to get it done," James said. "I was on edge for those few days, I was lucky the season was going on and we were playing really well so I could concentrate on basketball. My family was nervous."
Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic found a growth on James' parotid gland, which produces saliva. Those sorts of tumors are somewhat rare, on average there's usually around 2,500 cases each year. It represents only about three percent of all discovered tumors and just six percent of tumors found in the head and neck area, according to several medical reference Web sites.
The better news for James was that between 70 and 80 percent of such tumors are benign. That is what the doctors told him, trying to set him at ease.
"I was working with some good professionals," James said. "They were telling me they didn't think it was cancer, but we had to be sure, of course."
You can read more about the procedure in Windhort's column - a must read for anyone that thought LeBron was trying to milk calls from referees during the playoffs.