Dolphins great Mark "Super" Duper is recovering after undergoing surgery earlier this month to remove a cancerous tumor in his kidney.
The 52-year-old former wide receiver was riding his bicycle last November in the Dolphins Cycling Challenge to benefit the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in memory of Jim "Mad Dog" Mandich when he began feeling discomfort and had difficulty breathing.
An ultrasound revealed a growth in his right kidney a right renal mass and areas in his liver where the disease may have metastasized.
Doctors at the Sylvester Cancer Center decided to remove the kidney and inspect his liver in a surgery that took two-and-a-half hours. The kidney was removed and the liver was found to be perfect.
Duper was found to have renal cancer, but doctors said there was a 95 percent chance all the cancer was removed. He was discharged from the hospital last week.
"Personally, it bothered me. But I thought all I need to do is get one of these guys to take this thing out of me," said Duper.
The American Cancer Society estimates more than 64,000 new kidney cancer cases this year. The most common warning sign is blood in the urine, which Duper did not have.
"It is a renal malignancy and I told him the chance of him being cured is above 95 percent. So I said we never say 100 percent, but I'm pretty confident he is now cured," said Duper's surgeon University of Miami urologist Dr. Mark Soloway.
In November, he was riding in the Dolphins Cycling Challenge to raise money for UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, in memory of Jim Mandich.
"I felt discomfort in that bike ride. I tried to sit on one side then the other side. My back was hurting. It was like, okay this is not right," said Duper.
Soon after, he went to see his primary care doctor, and an ultrasound revealed the tumor.
"I feel great," Duper said. "Sometimes I tell myself 'Hey Dupe they cut you from here to there. You need to rest."
Duper is determined to ride in next year's Dolphin's Cycling Challenge. He was part of the stellar "Marks Brothers" receiving duo along with fellow Dolphins receiver Mark Clayton. He holds the team record for career receiving yards (8,869), and was a three-time Pro Bowler in his 11-year career spent with the Dolphins.
He and Clayton were inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2003.