(SportsNetwork.com) - Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry has a "very treatable" form of cancer that one of his doctors says can potentially be cured through chemotherapy.
Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma by doctors at Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta, the Chiefs said in a statement Monday.
The news came two weeks after Berry was placed on the non-football illness list following the discovery of a mass in the right side of his chest, which had caused the safety discomfort during a Nov. 20 game against Oakland and led to fears he might have lymphoma.
Further evaluation in Atlanta led to the diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system also known as Hodgkin disease.
The five-year survival rate of the disease between 2004 and 2010 was 85.3 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute.
"This is a diagnosis that is very treatable and potentially curable with standard chemotherapy approaches," said Christopher R. Flowers, the director of Emory's lymphoma program.
"The goal of Mr. Berry's treatment is to cure his lymphoma and we are beginning that treatment now."
Berry said in a statement issued through the Chiefs that he and his family "are very grateful for the amount of support we have received over the last couple of weeks."
"I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate all the words of encouragement, the blessings and well wishes," he said. "I want to thank the Emory University School of Medicine, along with Dr. Flowers and his team, for all of their hard work and effort in diagnosing and creating a plan for me to battle this thing.
"I will embrace this process and attack it the same way I do everything else in life. God has more than prepared me for it. For everyone sharing similar struggles, I'm praying for you and keep fighting!"
Berry, 25, made the Pro Bowl three times in his first four NFL seasons. He appeared in six games this season.