Longtime Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Jerry Howarth is being treated for prostate cancer and is scheduled to undergo surgery next week to have a small tumour removed.
The tumour was discovered after Howarth underwent a magnetic resonance imaging scan. He's supporting a study led by Dr. Robert Nam at Sunnybrook Hospital's Odette Cancer Centre to determine whether MRI scans are more effective at catching cancer than prostate-specific antigen tests.
"I had an MRI, which I thought (stood for) magnetic resonance imaging, but I found it was really most revealing investigation," Howard said with a smile in a CTV News Toronto report.
Howarth, 70, had high PSA levels in the past but a biopsy did not find the tumour. He credits a recent MRI scan for an early diagnosis.
"The BlueJays wish the incomparable Jerry Howarth a speedy recovery in his fight against prostate cancer. Hope to see you in the booth soon!," the team said Wednesday on Twitter.
Howarth made his debut as a member of the Blue Jays' radio team in 1981. He was honoured by Sports Media Canada last week for his broadcasting work.
Mike Wilner, who also handles play-by-play duties on Sportsnet 590 The Fan, also extended best wishes to his colleague via Twitter.
"Thoughts with Jerry and Mary Howarth and family. But great news that his cancer was caught so early. No doubt he's in the booth in Dunedin!"
The Blue Jays will kick off their pre-season schedule on Feb. 25 against the Atlanta Braves in Orlando, Fla. Toronto will play its first home game of the spring the next day against the Philadelphia Phillies at Dunedin's Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Toronto will play its regular-season opener at Baltimore on April 3.