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WWE Hall of Famer Bret 'The Hitman' Hart battling prostate cancer

By Wade Sheridan   |   Feb. 1, 2016 at 3:42 PM
| License Photo

CALGARY, Alberta, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Legendary pro-wrestler and WWE Hall of Famer Bret 'The Hitman' Hart is going into battle once again, this time against cancer.

Hart revealed that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer on Instagram Monday in a lengthy post addressed to his fans alongside a photo of himself holding his grandchildren.

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"I've had a great lifelong dance and I'm a survivor of many hard battles," Hart wrote. "I now face my toughest battle. With hesitation and fear, I openly declare myself in my fight against prostate cancer."

The former five-time WWE heavyweight champion and two-time WCW champion even gave a timetable for the surgery to remove the cancer. "In the next few days, I will undergo surgery with the hope of defeating this nemesis once and for all."

"I make a solemn vow to all of those that once believed in me, the dead and the living, that I will wage my fearsome fight against cancer with one shield and one sword carrying my determination and my fury for life, emboldened by all the love that's kept me going this long already," Hart continued.

"Most important of all, I hope can take the fight to prostate cancer. To be a leader in awareness and to set the example for men everywhere who find themselves in my very same shoes, that prostate cancer can be beaten."

It is with great remorse that I feel compelled to speak truthfully to my friends, family and my millions of fans around the world. In the past few years, I've spent more than enough time paying the price for all those years trying to be the best there ever was as a professional wrestler. I executed excellently and my proudest claim was that I never seriously hurt or injured another wrestler in my 23 year career. I've paid a price for all that "fake" wrestling ... Mark Helprin wrote: "We are all perfect clocks that Divinity has set to ticking when, even before birth, the heart explodes into a lifelong dance." I've had a great lifelong dance and I'm a survivor of many hard battles. I now face my toughest battle. With hesitation and fear, I openly declare myself in my fight against prostate cancer. In the next few days, I will undergo surgery with the hope of defeating this nemesis once and for all. My fans have always looked upon me as a hero and I've always done my best to live up to that in and out of the ring. I beat the odds when I suffered my stroke in 2002, but it is now yet again, that I ... stand unafraid and face the tough road ahead of me, I will march toward this destiny with his spirit chanting in my ear. I make a solemn vow to all of those that once believed in me, the dead and the living, that I will wage my fearsome fight against cancer with one shield and one sword carrying my determination and my fury for life, emboldened by all the love that's kept me going this long already. Love is my weapon and I've got much of it around me all the time, for which I'm truly blessed and eternally grateful. My children, grandchildren, and my loving wife Steph have been and will constantly be at my side. I refuse to lose, I will never give in or give up, and I will win this battle or die trying. Most important of all, I hope can take the fight to prostate cancer. To be a leader in awareness and to set the example for men everywhere who find themselves in my very same shoes, that prostate cancer can be beaten. B x

A photo posted by Bret (@brethitmanhart) on

One of the most prolific and successful wrestlers of all time, Hart retired in 1999 after suffering from a concussion. In 2002, the man referred to as the 'excellence of execution' also suffered from a stroke.

Hart has continued to appear sporadically on WWE programming, last appearing in May 2015 to introduce fellow Canadian wrestler Sami Zayn before his match against John Cena.

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