Figure Skater Scott Hamilton Decides To Stop Treating His Brain Tumor

Back in 1984, figure skater Scott Hamilton won Gold at the Olympics. Years later, he has suffered from a number of health issues, but he actually credits one of the most serious health problems with introducing him to figure skating in the first place.

Three years ago, Hamilton talked to “The Doctors” about this health struggles. He explained, “It started in 1997. I had testicular cancer.” Then he added, “Seven years later, I was diagnosed with the pituitary brain tumor.”

Hamilton shared that doctors discovered he “was actually born with this brain tumor, and it’s what caused my childhood illness that put me mostly in hospitals for four years.”

Since receiving his first brain tumor diagnosis, he has had radiation treatment as well as nine surgeries. Despite all of that, the tumor came back again in 2016.

Considering he went through a lot to get rid of the tumor only for it to come back again, Hamilton has decided not to go all in on treatment this time around. He explained that since the recent diagnosis, he has seen the tumor “grow and shrink and grow and shrink.” He added, “I’m living my days, and I want other people to do so as well.”

Hamilton’s brain tumor is benign, but he explained that it still does “mischief.” Even still, he is keeping a positive attitude.

Back in 2016, he told Entertainment Tonight he wouldn’t have become a figure skater if it weren’t for the brain tumor. He explained, “This is a brain tumor I was born with. Without it I wouldn’t have been in and out of hospitals for four years. Without this my parents wouldn’t have been so exhausted that they needed to give me a morning off, and the morning off they chose was a skating rink. There are no accidents.”

Speaking to PEOPLE in 2024, Hamilton shared that he has no regrets about his decision not to treat the tumor. He explained, “It’s been remarkable. I went back to the scan three months later and they said, it hasn’t grown. I go back three months later and they go, it shrank 45%. I said to my surgeon, ‘Can you explain this?’ And he said, ‘God.’ I went back in, and it shrunk 25% again.”

Right before COVID hit, Hamilton found out that the tumor had grown, but he was at peace with not getting it checked out “unless I become symptomatic.”

If he does become symptomatic, he does have a treatment option that he plans on using. He explained, “now there is a targeted radiation therapy that will shrink the tumor, 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.”

Watch the video below to hear more of Hamilton’s thoughts on his health struggles and why he is staying positive despite any hardships.