WIBX's host of First News With Keeler in the Morning has been off-air for the last two weeks and now his absence is being explained as related to a recent surgery.

Keeler was diagnosed with colon cancer after a polyp removed during a routine colonoscopy in December tested positive. He underwent colon resect surgery last Monday, February 11th, at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center's Robotics Surgery Unit in Utica, using the da Vinci Surgical System, under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Blancaflor, Director of Robotic Surgery at Mohawk Valley Health Systems.

"We looked at all of our options and actually went through a pre-op screening at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston in January, which was awesome" said Alison Keeler, Bill's wife. "In the end we felt that the surgical unit here was 'top quality' and the best place for us to have this procedure done. We really liked the surgeon and felt that the robotic procedure done locally would offer him the best chances of quickly getting back on his feet and back to work."

Keeler was inspired by former Boilermaker President and CEO Tim Reed, who recently completed successful treatment for prostate cancer. "Bill wants everyone to know that had  he not been convinced by Tim to go through with cancer screening, that doctors believe the cancer would have spread to the lymphs and other organs," she said. "Bill sees this as an inspiration to spread the message of early testing throughout the community. He feels early detection is the only real cure for cancer, right now," she added.

Keeler was released from St. E's on February 18th and has been recovering from home since then. He's planning to return to WIBX's morning show on Wednesday.

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