Ned Jarrett cancer free after January diagnosis

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Two-time Sprint Cup champion Ned Jarrett, 82, announced Thursday that he is cancer free after surgery and four weeks of treatment left no trace of the melanoma that had been diagnosed in January.

Jarrett had successful surgery on Feb. 20 to remove a spot on his left arm but further traces of the skin cancer were discovered later in a check-up at the Center for Advanced Medicine and Clinical Research in Cornelius, N.C.

“It is very positive and I feel good,” Jarrett told NASCAR.com. “In fact, I feel the best I’ve felt in a couple of years at least. Getting my immune system built up and getting toxins out of my body and the cancer, I’m really feeling good and feeling good about the whole situation. I know now how to better take care of my body, so hopefully, it won’t come back.”

Jarrett felt well enough to help call a segment of Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darington Raceway  on NBC with Ken Squier and his son, Dale Jarrett.

Melanoma is an illness that runs in the Jarrett in family. During a six-month stretch in 1983, it claimed the lives of seven family members, including Ned Jarrett’s father.

“Of course, I grew up on a farm and worked in a sawmill,” Jarrett said. “We didn’t know anything about cancer or how it worked or that sun could do damage, and we went without shirts most of the time working on the farm. Then all of the years that I raced, I was outside and didn’t even know about sunscreen.’

The report by NASCAR.com says Jarrett has raised more than more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society while hosting a charity golf tournament for more than 25 years.