Kareem Has Leukemia Under Control

In this Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 photo, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar poses in his office, in Newport Beach, Calif. Abdul-Jabbar has been a best-selling author, civil-rights activist, actor, historian and one of the greatest basketball players who ever lived. This fall Abdul-Jabbar will embark on a cross-country tour as part of “Becoming Kareem,” a stage show in which he’ll discuss his life, answer audience questions and talk about the key mentors in his life he says helped him achieve his goals along the way. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

In this Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 photo, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar poses in his office, in Newport Beach, Calif. Abdul-Jabbar has been a best-selling author, civil-rights activist, actor, historian and one of the greatest basketball players who ever lived. This fall Abdul-Jabbar will embark on a cross-country tour as part of “Becoming Kareem,” a stage show in which he’ll discuss his life, answer audience questions and talk about the key mentors in his life he says helped him achieve his goals along the way. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dancing with the Stars contestant Kareem Abdul-Jabbar announced that he has managed his leukemia “down to a microscopic level” nine years after he was first diagnosed.

“With leukemia, you’re not technically in remission,” the 71-year-old NBA legend, who takes daily meds for the blood disease, told PEOPLE on Monday.

“It’s possible for it to reassert itself. In my case, what we say is I’ve managed it down to a microscopic level. There are no bad white blood cells. and that’s how we discuss the type of management that I do, which enables me to say that I’m healthy.”

The Becoming Kareem author added: “I feel fine, and I’m very fortunate to benefit from the medical research that enable the targeted drugs to deal with the types of leukemia that I possess.”

Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Alcindor) has “never worked out” like he has rehearsing for the ABC dance competition’s 26th season.

“I had to get my feet in shape,” said Kareem, who underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery in 2015.

 

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