The Pitt women’s basketball team announced on Wednesday afternoon that Panthers guard Kyla Nelson has been diagnosed with cancer of the appendix. The diagnosis was made late last week and was the result of the discovery of a neuroendocrine tumor during an appendectomy Nelson underwent on Aug. 26.
Nelson, a 21-year-old native of Worthing, England, is scheduled to undergo surgery in early October, and according to the team, a full recovery is expected, along with a return to the court this season. Pitt head coach Lance White described Nelson’s prognosis as positive, and Nelson noted the cancer was detected early.
”Cancer is a scary word for anyone,” Nelson said in a statement. “I feel very lucky that the discovery was made at this early stage. I am grateful to be surrounded by such an amazing medical institution like Pitt and a team that is loving and supportive. My roommate has been great, and I also have a family I can lean heavily on, even with the long distance between us.”
Last season, Nelson averaged a career-high 6.0 points per game in addition to 2.2 rebounds per game. She was also Pitt’s top three-point shooter, as she converted on 40.4 percent of her shots from distance and led the team with 42 made three-pointers in the 2018-19 season.
”Although this situation is very unfortunate for Kyla, we are happy to know the prognosis is positive and we were able to catch it so early,” he said. “Our Pitt women’s basketball family and athletic department are completely behind Kyla, and we will give her all the support she needs during recovery. We look forward to having her back on the court.”