Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Diagnosed with Cancer

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA's all-time leading scorer.

Now, though, he's facing a challenge more daunting than any fight the Boston Celtics ever put up on the court of play: the former Lakers center has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia.

The 62-year old was informed of his disease a year ago, following bouts of hot flashes and sweats. He's expected to enjoy a regular life span.

"When the doctor told me I had cancer, I was scared," said Abdul-Jabbar. "My grandfather and my uncle both died from colorectal cancer, my dad almost died from it and I have the gene for it. It's in my family, so I thought this was something else along those lines, but it's not."

Abdul-Jabbar, a father of five, has guarded his privacy over the years.

But he went public this week in order to send an important message:

"I want to help people who are confronted with this type of situation, just to let them know it doesn't have to be a death sentence."

We wish the NBA legend all the best.