Blue Jays announcer Jerry Howarth battling prostate cancer

Jerry Howarth was play-by-play man for the Blue Jays for 36 seasons.

TORONTO — Longtime Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Jerry Howarth is being treated for prostate cancer and is scheduled to undergo surgery next week to have a small tumour removed.

The tumour was discovered after Howarth underwent a magnetic resonance imaging scan. He’s supporting a study led by Dr. Robert Nam at Sunnybrook Hospital’s Odette Cancer Centre to determine whether MRI scans are more effective at catching cancer than prostate-specific antigen tests.

"I had an MRI, which I thought (stood for) magnetic resonance imaging, but I found it was really most revealing investigation," Howard said with a smile in a CTV News Toronto report.

Howarth, 70, had high PSA levels in the past but a biopsy did not find the tumour. He credits a recent MRI scan for an early diagnosis.

Howarth made his debut as a member of the Blue Jays’ radio team in 1981. He was honoured by Sports Media Canada last week for his broadcasting work.

Mike Wilner, who also handles play-by-play duties on Sportsnet 590 The Fan, extended best wishes to his colleague on Wednesday via Twitter.

"Thoughts with Jerry and Mary Howarth and family. But great news that his cancer was caught so early. No doubt he’s in the booth in Dunedin!"

The Blue Jays will kick off their pre-season schedule on Feb. 25 against the Atlanta Braves in Orlando, Fla. Toronto will play its first home game of the spring the next day against the Philadelphia Phillies at Dunedin’s Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Toronto will play its regular-season opener at Baltimore on April 3.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.