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KDKA's Marty Griffin announces he has throat cancer

Mary Pickels
| Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, 10:15 a.m.
KDKA Radio personality Marty Griffin launched his new media platform, Sparkt.com, today with his own personal story about being diagnosed with HPV.
kdkaradio.com
KDKA Radio personality Marty Griffin launched his new media platform, Sparkt.com, today with his own personal story about being diagnosed with HPV.

KDKA Radio personality Marty Griffin is inviting listeners to join him in a fight against throat cancer.

He said Monday morning that he has been diagnosed with human papillomusvirus (HPV), which precipitated the cancer.

Griffin, 59, urged parents to strongly consider getting their children vaccinated .

Griffin, who left his longtime position as an on-air reporter with KDKA television last month, recently launched the website Sparkt.com , a new marketing and branding company.

In a cryptic tweet Friday, he alluded to an illness, stating he would explain further during his Monday morning radio broadcast.

His diagnosis began with the recent discovery of a lump under this chin.

He has undergone surgery and plans to take his listeners along “from soup to nuts,” he said Monday morning.

As Griffin noted, his particular type of cancer has a high survival rate .

“I will start chemotherapy and radiation (Tuesday) morning” and stream the treatment live on his website, Griffin said.

During his morning show lead-in, he said he’s “going public” and streaming his treatment to educate the public.

“As I go through this journey, it’s my hope that we can raise awareness,” Griffin says.

Throughout the morning, he spoke with physicians, including those who are treating him, and took questions from callers.

“We’re going to live on my site. … I want people to see the journey,” he said.

Stating he wants to use his new platform for education, Griffin said he will take viewers from “hello to goodbye, seven weeks of it.”

“I want people to look, listen and learn. Look what could happen when you don’t get vaccinated,” Griffin said.

Among his guests was Dr. Robert Ferris of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center , where Griffin is being treated.

“You said to me from day one, ‘Look you are going to beat this,’” Griffin told Ferris.

“It’s a tough couple of months,” Ferris said of treatment.

He also noted misinformation on the HPV vaccine, available to pre-teens and teens.

Some parents fear, Ferris said, that giving the vaccine sends a message to teens that it’s OK to become sexually active.

“Teenagers are going to do what they are going to do,” he said.

He also said there has been some concern expressed that the vaccine leads to autism, a concern that has never been proven true.

“It’s a cost-effective way to prevent cancer,” Ferris said.

His own children, ages 12 to 16, are getting the vaccine, Ferris said. “It’s responsible, and I think it’s good parenting,” he said.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, mpickels@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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