THE WWE Universe has been rocked by the news Bret “Hitman” Hart has been diagnosed with cancer. The Hall of Famer, widely-regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers ever, confirmed the shock news on Instagram.
And the 62-year-old, a seven-time world champion, warned his fans on the importance of wearing sun protection while announcing he has basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Along with a snap of stitches on his shoulder, he wrote: “Goal for 2020 and beyond: wear more sunscreen! Basal cell carcinoma removal scheduled soon.
“Another opportunity to remind everyone to look after your health and #getchecked.” WWE legend Bret Hart has confirmed he has been diagnosed with skin cancer.
According to Skincancer.com, BCC is the most frequent form of all cancers – with 4 million cases diagnosed each year – but in most cases it is also curable and non-life threatening.
The website notes: ‘Because BCCs grow slowly, most are curable and cause minimal damage when caught and treated early. Understanding BCC causes, risk factors and warning signs can help you detect them early, when they are easiest to treat and cure.’
Hart has endured a number of health battles since retiring from the ring, suffering a stroke in 2002 and prostate cancer in 2016.
He was praised by his followers for raising awareness of the potential conditions of BCC, which grows slowly and very rarely spreads to become life-threatening. The legend began his in-ring career in his hometown of Calgary in Canada having learned the trade in his father Stu’s iconic “Hart Dungeon”.
He joined WWE in the 1980s and shot to super-stardom over the following decades, battling the likes of Ric Flair, Yokozuna, Shawn Michaels and the British Bulldog at Wembley Stadium.
The master of the Sharpshooter, whose brother Owen Hart tragically died in 1999 after accidentally falling from the roof at a WWE pay-per-view, was also involved in one of wrestling’s most infamous incidents.
He was the victim of the “Montreal Screwjob” in 1997 when Vince McMahon screwed him out of the WWE Title in a loss to Michaels at Survivor Series after “Hitman” had already signed a big-money contract to join rival company WCW.
But he only spent three years working for the Ted Turner-funded promotion until a concussion injury suffered against Goldberg forced him out of action.
He would later return to McMahon’s WWE, defeating the owner at WrestleMania 26. Hart is a two-time inductee in WWE’s Hall of Fame with the first individual recognition coming in 2006.
Former tag-team partner Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, who passed away in 2018, and “The Best There Is, Was and Ever Will Be” were also inducted jointly last April.
However, the night was marred when the “Hitman” was a attacked by an intruder from the crowd, although he escaped any injuries.
Since then he made a surprise appearance on the recently-formed All Elite Wrestling’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view event last May to unveil the AEW World Championship.
His post was met with an outpouring of support from fans, who paid tribute to the wrestling legend and wished him the best for his surgery. One fan commented: ‘Best wishes to you Bret on your upcoming surgery. We love you!’
‘You’re a hero and legend, Bret! Much love to you and the entire Hart family. Thanks for encouraging folks and always being an inspiration,’ another follower added, paying tribute to the star’s legacy.