Chiefs: Eric Berry has mass in chest, possibly lymphoma - KCTV5

Chiefs: Eric Berry has mass in chest, possibly lymphoma

Posted: Updated:
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Chiefs starting safety Eric Berry has a mass in his chest, and it is likely lymphoma, a team doctor said Monday afternoon.

Team head trainer Rick Burkholder said he could not officially diagnose the mass as lymphoma. Berry traveled to Atlanta to see Dr. Christopher Flowers, a specialist at Emory University Hospital, and will undergo more testing including having a biopsy of the mass performed.

"We think we have Eric in a real good spot right now to have really good outcome with this mass in his chest," Burkholder said.

Berry is obviously out for the rest of the season, but in a statement Berry indicated he is hopeful that he will play again.

"I have great confidence in the doctors and the plan they are going to put in place for me to win this fight. I believe that I am in God's hands and I have great peace in that," Berry said. "I know my coaches and teammates will hold things down here the rest of the season and until I am back running out of the tunnel at Arrowhead."

Berry underwent testing after complaining about chest pain during the Raiders loss last Thursday night. On Friday, doctors determined it wasn't an orthopedic injury. He underwent tests with the team on Friday including an X-Ray and an MRI, which revealed the mass on the right side of his chest. He then went to the University of Kansas Hospital on Saturday for additional testing including CT scans and blood work.

The Chiefs next game is on Sunday Night Football at home against the Broncos. Coach Andy Reid said he, his staff and Berry's teammates were shocked by the diagnosis. Reid said the upcoming battle against the Broncos is secondary now.

"We know it's going to work out for Eric," Reid said. "He's a beast and right now he needs to be beast. He'll attack this along with Dr. Flowers and I think it will be a very positive result when it's all said and done."

Berry addressed his teammates on Monday. Reid, Burkholder and physicians told Berry about the test results on Saturday and that lymphoma was the likely cause.

Lymphoma is a form of cancer in the lymph nodes. Some of the symptoms include abdominal pain, swelling, sudden weight loss and heavy sweating.

Reid said Berry felt his teammates love and support on Monday.

"When you get into these situations, you honker down and you battle for your life is what you do," he said. "You have to be in a certain frame of mind. You have to have a certain support system to back you up and Eric's got that, not only with family but also with the Chiefs."

Berry, 25, underwent his yearly physical in June, which included a chest X-Ray and blood work, but nothing was turned up at that time. He doesn't have a family history of the illness.

Berry is being placed on the non-football injury list. Berry was drafted by the Chiefs as the fifth overall draft pick in the 2010 draft. Berry is from the Atlanta area and he wanted to undergo treatment closer to his family. The Atlanta Falcons are assisting the Chiefs and Berry in getting him treated in Atlanta.

Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said he was shocked by the news and sad for Berry. He said as an organization and family that the Chiefs will be there for Berry and his family.

". . .. Just to tell Eric that we love you, we're thinking about you and we hope that you have a quick recovery," Hunt said, adding his prayers are with Berry. "He's a very focused individual and his mindset was very much of tackling this and trying to get past it as soon as possible."

Reid said that Berry is in good spirits all things considered.

"He was upbeat and very positive. He was awesome this morning," Reid said. "He's not one that likes to do a lot of talking but he felt like the team needed to hear it from him that he's Ok and he's going to get after this thing and get it fixed. . . .Football isn't as important as him getting himself better at this present moment."

He said Berry is a big part of the team as a player, person and leader.

Dr. Joseph McGuirk works at the University of Kansas Hospital and is familiar with cases like Berry's but is not treating Berry. The physician said it's rare for someone as young as Berry to have the disease, but said it's very treatable and Berry can return to play in the NFL.

"Possibly we look forward to seeing him on the field next fall," McGuirk said. "The good news is that these lymphomas in generally are highly treatable."

He said that Berry's age and physical condition will help him beat the cancer and endure the chemotherapy treatments.

"There's probably 50 to 75 to 80 percent chance that one way or another this is going to be cured," he said.

On Tuesday, teammates Josh Mauga and Dee Ford said during a previously scheduled community blood drive that they are rallying around Berry.

"Eric is a soldier," Ford said. "He's an angel to me. I feel like his spirit will carry him so far. He has an incredible work ethic. This is just the beginning and God is using him. He's going to be a testimony for his situation."

Here is Berry's entire statement:

I am truly thankful for all of the support from family, friends, coaches, teammates and the entire Chiefs kingdom. At first I was in shock with the diagnosis on Saturday and did not even want to miss a game, but I understand that right now I have to concentrate on a new opponent. I have great confidence in the doctors and the plan they are going to put in place for me to win this fight. I believe that I am in God's hands and I have great peace in that. I know my coaches and teammates will hold things down here the rest of the season and until I am back running out of the tunnel at Arrowhead. I am so thankful and appreciative of being a part of this franchise and playing in front of the best fans in the NFL. I will be back!

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved

  • Chiefs: Eric Berry has mass in chest, possibly lymphomaMore>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Missouri man charged with felony after alleged racial slur

    Missouri man charged with felony after alleged racial slur

    Thursday, January 29 2015 11:44 PM EST2015-01-30 04:44:07 GMT
    A 65-year-old Maryville man is charged with felony assault after he allegedly confronted a black server as she served him breakfast. The man is accused of assaulting her and using racially insensitive language.More >
    A 65-year-old Maryville man is charged with felony assault after he allegedly confronted a black server as she served him breakfast. The man is accused of assaulting her and using racially insensitive language. More >
  • Man, woman charged after beating, kidnapping person at Grandview park

    Man, woman charged after beating, kidnapping person at Grandview park

    Friday, May 26 2017 11:54 AM EDT2017-05-26 15:54:37 GMT
    Zane Warner, 21, and Hana Yocom, 19, have each been charged with one count of felony kidnapping and one count of felony armed criminal action. (Jackson County Detention Center)Zane Warner, 21, and Hana Yocom, 19, have each been charged with one count of felony kidnapping and one count of felony armed criminal action. (Jackson County Detention Center)

    Authorities in Jackson County have charged a man and a woman after a person was kidnapped from a park on Wednesday.

    More >

    Authorities in Jackson County have charged a man and a woman after a person was kidnapped from a park on Wednesday.

    More >
  • Teachers name 7th grader ‘most likely to become a terrorist’

    Teachers name 7th grader ‘most likely to become a terrorist’

    Friday, May 26 2017 10:18 AM EDT2017-05-26 14:18:53 GMT
    (Source: Click2Houston via CNN)(Source: Click2Houston via CNN)

    A group of teachers are being disciplined after they thought it would be funny to name a student “most likely to become a terrorist.”

    More >

    A group of teachers are being disciplined after they thought it would be funny to name a student “most likely to become a terrorist.”

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.