Scott Hamilton Opens Up About Not Treating His Brain Tumor: Health Updates and Medical History

Scott Hamilton feels blessed to have been able to share his story with the world and inspire others. The Olympic figure skater revealed his decision not to treat his third brain tumor and provided updates on his health over the years.

Scott Hamilton Is a Cancer Survivor

Scott famously won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics for his incredible skating routine. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1997 after suffering from abdominal pain. His adoptive mother, Dorothy Hamilton, died following a battle with breast cancer in 1977.

“The only thing I remember about the day I found out I had cancer is the fear, a crippling fear that forced me to remember my mother in her last days,” Scott recalled in an essay for Cure in June 2020. “I honestly don’t think I was ever that scared in my life. Well, except when I would step onto the ice for a compulsory figure test, knowing that I wasn’t prepared. No one is prepared for a cancer diagnosis.”

After undergoing surgery, the skater was inspired to launch the nonprofit Scott Hamilton CARES.

“I wished I’d had someone who had been there, done that, who could speak to me about what to expect,” he told People in February 2024 of the organization aimed at funding cancer research. “I wanted to change people’s experience with cancer.”

Following his bout with cancer, Scott married his wife, Tracie Hamilton, in 2002.

“I wasn’t good at interpersonal relationships before that,” he said. “I was all about the skating. I somehow felt unworthy of love, like I didn’t have anything to offer someone else.”

They are now parents to four kids. They welcomed sons Aidan and Maxx and adopted kids Jean Paul and Evelyne from Haiti after tying the knot.

Scott Hamilton Health Updates
Scott Hamilton Health Updates

Scott Hamilton Has Had 3 Brain Tumors

Scott battled his first bout with a brain tumor in 2004. In 2010, he was told that he had another brain tumor. He underwent surgery both times. Six years later, the dad of four learned his brain tumor had returned for a third time. He decided that the most recent time around, he would not immediately seek treatment.

"When they gave me the diagnosis, they said, it's back," Scott told People in February 2024. "And so they brought in this guy, a really young, talented surgeon, and he said, 'We could do the surgery again. It'd be complicated, but we've got really talented people here that we could bring in, and I know we could pull it off if that's an option for you.'"

The sports commentator also shared that he would not be opposed to undergoing treatment in the future if needed.

"The ace I have up my sleeve is that now there is a targeted radiation therapy that will shrink the tumor," Scott explained. "And in that, I can avoid a lot of other things like surgery and chemo. So I don't know, I'm mostly trying to be in the moment and taking all the information and do the right thing when the time comes."