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Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera diagnosed with skin cancer

Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera diagnosed with skin cancer
Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera announced a skin cancer diagnosis on Thursday, but plans to keep his normal schedule for the 2020 season. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera has been diagnosed with skin cancer.

Rivera, 58, announced his squamous cell carcinoma diagnosis Thursday after he detected it during a self-care check. Washington said the cancer is in an early stage and is considered very treatable and curable."

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Squamous cell carcinoma is a common form of skin cancer, which develops in the squamous cells located in the middle and outer layers of skin. It is usually not life threatening, but can be aggressive.

"Stephanie, Christopher, Courtney [Rivera's wife, son and daughter] and I thank you all for your love and support," Rivera tweeted Thursday.

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The veteran coach has consulted with oncology specialists, the team's medical staff and other doctors to establish a treatment plan. Rivera met with reporters Thursday, but did not speak about the diagnosis.

"For now, coach has asked that the team keep things business as usual and remain focused, but a 'Plan B' is in place if it is determined that he should take some time off," Washington said.

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Many coaches, players and teams around the NFL posted messages of support for Rivera Thursday on social media.

"Adding my prayers for health to the innate strength and deep resilience in Ron Rivera's body, mind, and spirit," tweeted Washington Football Team President Jason Wright, who was hired Monday.

Rivera began his NFL coaching career in defensive quality control for the Chicago Bears in 1997. He later served as linebackers coach for the Philadelphia Eagles before he returned to the Bears as defensive coordinator from 2004 through 2006.

Rivera spent four seasons as linebackers coach and defensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers before he was hired to coach the Carolina Panthers in 2011. The Panthers fired Rivera in December. Washington hired Rivera on Jan. 1.

Washington hosts the Philadelphia Eagles in their first game of the season at 1 p.m. EDT Sept. 13 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

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