Butch Davis, football coach for the University of North Carolina, received a huge shock after a visit to his dentist last month: a cancer diagnosis! Davis, 55, had no idea anything was wrong until his dentist discovered an unusual growth during a routine cleaning. The dentist removed the growth, and biopsy results showed it was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Though tests suggest the cancer has not spread, the coach is undergoing chemotherapy just in case. “Honestly, I am fine,” he told reporters. “I want the focus of this spring to be about this team. I have every intention of being the coach here for a long time and after we talk about it today, then I really don’t want to talk about it any more.”
Davis coached the University of Miami from 1995-2000, going 51-20 during his tenure there. He went on to coach the Cleveland Browns before joining North Carolina in November.
A few months ago, James Brown’s dentist was the one who told the singer to get himself to a hospital during his fatal bout with pneumonia. Research is constantly discovering ways dental professionals can test for cancer, osteoporosis, and other diseases. These important advancements (and the press that surrounds them) highlight the dentist’s role in a patient’s total health.