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Figure Skater Scott Hamilton Feels ‘At Peace’ With Decision to Skip Treatment for 3rd Brain Tumor

Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton is facing his third brain tumor — and this time, he’s decided to forego treatment.

“When they gave me the diagnosis, they said, ’It’s back,’” Hamilton, 65, told People on Wednesday, February 21, recalling the moment in 2016 when he learned that a pituitary tumor in his brain had returned.

The retired figure skater continued: “They brought in this guy, a really young, talented surgeon, and he said, ‘We could do the surgery again. It’d be complicated, but we’ve got really talented people here that we could bring in, and I know we could pull it off if that’s an option for you.’ … All I felt was just, ‘Don’t worry about this. Just go home and get strong.’”

Hamilton admitted that he didn’t know exactly what he meant at the time, and felt he was “just answering my spirit.” He’d already gone through brain surgery twice, first in 2004 and again in 2010, in addition to battling testicular cancer in the 1990s.

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While Hamilton felt confident that he wanted to try a different approach, he couldn’t have foreseen the “remarkable” results.

“I went back to the scan three months later and they said, ‘It hasn’t grown.’ I go back three months later and they go, ’It shrank 45 percent.’ I said to my surgeon, ‘Can you explain this?’ And he said, ‘God.’ I went back in, and it shrunk 25 percent again,” he recounted.

Figure Skater Scott Hamilton Not Getting Treatment for 3rd Tumor
Scott Hamilton Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Hamilton’s good fortune didn’t last forever, though. The tumor eventually began to grow again, and when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, surgery became a less accessible option.

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“COVID hit and going into any kind of hospital situation was almost impossible. So, in my spirit, in my inner being, I realized, I’m totally at peace with not even looking at it again unless I become symptomatic,” Hamilton said.

Figure Skater Scott Hamilton Not Getting Treatment for 3rd Tumor
Scott Hamilton competes in the 1984 Olympic Winter Games Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Despite not wanting to undergo surgery again, Hamilton isn’t opposed to other forms of treatment if they become necessary.

“The ace I have up my sleeve is that now there is a targeted radiation therapy that will shrink the tumor,” he explained. “And in that, I can avoid a lot of other things like surgery and chemo. I’m mostly trying to be in the moment and [take in] all the information and do the right thing when the time comes.”

In addition to his gratitude for the “unbelievable” success he’s had with no treatment, Hamilton is taking stock of the many blessings in his life.

“I never would’ve thought to dream any of the things that have happened to me. I never would’ve thought to dream that one day I would found a cancer organization that’s actually going to have impact and save lives,” he said of the Scott Hamilton CARES foundation. “And to have my children and just how amazing they are, and my wife and how amazing she is? I never would’ve thought to dream any of it.”

Hamilton shares sons Jean Paul, Aidan and Maxx and daughter Evelyne with wife Tracie Robinson.

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