AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State University Athletic Director Jamie Pollard announced in an open letter to Cyclones fans his diagnosis of testicular cancer.
In the letter released Wednesday on the school’s website, Pollard said his diagnosis began with groin pain about four weeks ago. After finding a lump and going to a doctor, Pollard said he underwent surgery last week to have the mass removed. He learned a day later it was cancerous.
Addition tests showed the cancer hadn’t spread, Pollard said. He and his doctors are discussing treatment options.
Pollard said he initially kept the diagnosis private to avoid distracting from Iowa State’s athletic programs, but decided to reveal the diagnosis after having to cancel a speaking engagement last week for 500 guests.
“Regrettably, I had to miss my appearance on very short notice (due to surgery) and it was disheartening to be unable to share the real reason for my cancellation,” he wrote.
Pollard added he wants to help others dealing with similar challenges.
“When I had open-heart surgery in 2015, it allowed me to encourage others battling similar heart issues. By sharing some details of my cancer diagnosis and treatment plan, I can emphasize the critical importance of early detection as it relates to cancer survival rates.”
Pollard has been Iowa State’s athletic director since 2005. This year, the school extended his contract through 2026.