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Scott Hamilton's health: What you should know about the Olympic champion's brain cancer battle – Monomaxos

Scott Hamilton

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Scott Hamilton, 65, captured the hearts of America when he took home the gold medal in the men's category at the 1984 Winter Olympics. The epic victory ended a 24-year gold medal drought for the USA in men's figure skating and put the talented and energetic athlete in the spotlight. He went on to win many more impressive titles and eventually turned professional. He performed for figure skating fans around the world on his successful, self-created tour, β€œStars on Ice,” for 15 years before retiring in 2001.

Before his skating career began, Scott, who was adopted at six weeks old, struggled with a mysterious childhood illness that was misdiagnosed multiple times. When he started skating, his health improved and it was later discovered that the illness was caused by a congenital brain tumor. Known for his charismatic and fun skating routines, Scott again struggled with health problems in 1997 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. After surgery and chemotherapy, his health was fine until 2004, when he was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. He had to undergo a series of surgeries to treat both the tumor and associated complications. After a successful result, he discovered in 2016 that he was once again battling a brain tumor.

Learn more about Scott's health struggles and where he is today below.

Scott Hamilton was diagnosed with a brain tumor

Scott was first diagnosed with a benign brain tumor in November 2004. He was treated at the Cleveland Clinic and was diagnosed with another brain tumor in 2010. During surgery for the second brain tumor, a complication caused an aneurysm and he had to undergo surgery. Both were successful, but in 2016 Scott was diagnosed with a third brain tumor. Scott, known for his easy-going and compassionate personality, spoke with him PEOPLE about the third diagnosis in the same year.

β€œI have a unique hobby, which is collecting life-threatening diseases,” he told the outlet. β€œIt’s six years later and it was decided it wanted an encore.”

Scott Hamilton
Scott during one of his many legendary skating routines. (Getty Images)

β€œThe first brain tumor blew me away,” said Scott Coping Magazine in 2018. β€œThe second brain tumor, things didn’t seem right and I think that was foreshadowing. During the operation to remove the tumor, there was a complication that resulted in an aneurysm. After the aneurysm was eradicated, I returned to life weaker than during my previous two health adventures. When the third one was found, I had a lot more control. I had survived two previous illnesses and cancer, so I approached this adventure with calm and a better understanding of the process.”

Scott decided not to have surgery for the third brain tumor, even though it was given to him as an option. It proved to be a wise decision as the tumor shrunk. However, just before COVID-19, it was growing again. β€œI just felt like, don’t worry about it. Just go home and get strong,” he said PEOPLE in February 2024. “They say, 'Well, what do you want to do?' And I said, 'I think I'll go home and get strong.' I just answered my mind.”

What is a brain tumor?

A brain tumor is β€œa growth of cells in or near the brain,” according to the Mayo Clinic. β€œBrain tumors can occur in brain tissue. Brain tumors can also occur near brain tissue. Nearby locations include nerves, the pituitary gland, the pineal gland, and the membranes that cover the surface of the brain.”

There are many different types of brain tumors Mayo Clinic also says. β€œSome brain tumors are not cancerous. β€œWe speak of benign brain tumors or benign brain tumors,” the clinic says. β€œBenign brain tumors can grow over time and press on brain tissue. Other brain tumors are brain tumors, also called malignant brain tumors. Brain tumors can grow quickly. The cancer cells can invade and destroy brain tissue.”

Brain tumors can vary in size and, depending on where they are located in the brain, they may cause symptoms immediately or may take a long time to become very large before symptoms are noticed. Symptoms may include headaches, nausea or vomiting, eye problems such as blurred vision or loss of vision, loss of feeling in an arm or leg, loss of balance, memory problems, dizziness, feeling very hungry and weight gain, and more.

Brain tumors arise when cells in or near the brain experience changes in their DNA. The changes instruct cells to grow quickly and continue living when healthy cells die as part of the natural life cycle. The extra cells can cause a growth called a tumor. It is unclear what causes this, but some brain tumors may be hereditary, while others may be related to high levels of radiation exposure. They can also occur at any age, including children, but are most common in older adults.

How long has Scott Hamilton been suffering from a brain tumor?

Scott was diagnosed with his first brain tumor in 2004 and a second brain tumor in 2010. His third was diagnosed in 2016 and is still there. He decided not to undergo surgery and monitored the tumor closely through regular doctor visits.

How is Scott Hamilton today?

Scott Hamilton
Scott at an event in February 2024. (Getty Images)

In 2024, Scott revealed that the third brain tumor had undergone its changes since he decided against surgery in 2016. β€œIt was remarkable,” he said PEOPLE. β€œI went back for a scan three months later and they said it hadn’t grown. I go back three months later and they say it's shrunk by 45%. I said to my surgeon, β€˜Can you explain this?’ And he said, β€˜God.’ I went back in and it shrunk again by 25%.”

The next time he had it checked, the result was different. β€œIt had grown,” he said. β€œAnd then COVID came and it was almost impossible to go to a hospital. In my mind, inside me, I realized that unless I become symptomatic, I'm perfectly content not to watch it again.”

The legendary skater also said he is considering treatments that could help him avoid having to undergo surgery again. β€œThe trump card I have up my sleeve is that there is now targeted radiation therapy that shrinks the tumor,” he explained. β€œAnd it allows me to avoid a lot of other things like surgeries and chemo. So I don’t know, I’m mostly just trying to be in the moment, gather all the information and do the right thing when the time comes.”

Scott started doing this during his health struggles Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation, which has helped fund cancer research that has saved many lives. He married Tracie Robinson in 2002 and they share three sons and a daughter. He also continues to work behind the scenes for Stars on Ice and sometimes appears on the ice for special shows.

β€œI am blessed beyond my wildest imagination,” he said PEOPLE in February 2024 while celebrating the 40th anniversary of his Olympic gold medal win. β€œI would never have dreamed about the things that happened to me. I never imagined that one day I would start a cancer organization that would actually make a difference and save lives. I never imagined that by winning an Olympic gold medal I would be able to give so much back to my sport and help create a platform for so many of the greatest skaters in the history of the sport to pursue their careers.”

β€œAnd having my kids and how amazing they are, and my wife and how amazing she is? It never occurred to me to dream about it,” he added.
Meet the author behind the lifestyle inspiration! Antonio brings a unique perspective to the world of lifestyle, weaving together words that captivate and ideas that resonate. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for embracing the richness of everyday life, Antonio invites you on a journey to explore the art of living well.


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