Bret Hart Announces He Has Been Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08:  Special guest referee Bret 'The Hitman' Hart during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium on July 08, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart announced he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer in a message posted to his Instagram account on Feb. 1:

On Feb. 11, Hart posted a new photo after undergoing surgery on his prostate: 

It's unknown how long Hart has been dealing with the condition.

"I've had a great lifelong dance and I'm a survivor of many hard battles," Hart wrote. "I now face my toughest battle. With hesitation and fear, I openly declare myself in my fight against prostate cancer. In the next few days, I will undergo surgery with the hope of defeating this nemesis once and for all." 

While prostate cancer is a serious diagnosis, it is considered among the most curable malignancies. The five-year survival rate for local and regional cancer of the prostate is "nearly 100 percent," according to the American Cancer Society. Roughly 80 percent of prostate cancers are found in the local stage, meaning they have not spread to anywhere else in the body.

"I refuse to lose, I will never give in or give up, and I will win this battle or die trying," Hart wrote, adding that he wants to "set the example for men everywhere who find themselves in my very same shoes, that prostate cancer can be beaten."

Hart is considered one of the best performers in wrestling history. He is a five-time WWE champion and a two-time WCW champion, and he's held every other major belt in both companies. 

Known as the Excellence of Execution, Hart is renowned for his near-flawless work inside the squared circle. He prided himself on being a safe worker with himself and others, even noting in his Instagram message that he avoided major injuries in his 23-year career.

Hart has also been part of some of the most iconic moments in sports entertainment history, highlighted by the Montreal Screwjob. That moment, in which Vince McMahon fixed a match to strip Hart of the WWE Championship before he moved to WCW, remains one of the biggest controversies of all time. Hart, who retired as a full-time competitor in 2000, did not return to WWE for nearly a decade after his departure.

This is Hart's second major medical issue since leaving wrestling. In 2002, he suffered a stroke after being involved in a bicycle accident.

"I beat the odds when I suffered my stroke in 2002, but it is now yet again, that I...stand unafraid and face the tough road ahead of me, I will march toward this destiny with his spirit chanting in my ear," Hart wrote.

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