"I've always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges," Schilling said in a statement released by ESPN. "We've been presented with another challenge, as I've recently been diagnosed with cancer."
The 47-year-old Schilling pitched in the majors for 20 seasons, compiling a career 3.46 ERA and 3,116 strikeouts as a member of the Orioles, Astros, Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox. He made six All-Star teams and finished as a runner-up in Cy Young voting on three separate occasions.
Schilling was even better in the playoffs throughout his career, finishing with an 11-2 record and 2.23 ERA in 133.1 postseason innings. He won three World Series titles, most memorably with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007, and also as a member of the Diamondbacks in 2001, when he and Randy Johnson formed a dominant duo at the top of the Arizona rotation. Schilling and Johnson were named co-MVPs of the 2001 World Series.
The 47-year-old had been experiencing some health problems in recent years, telling the Boston Globe in August that he had a heart attack back in November 2011. Schilling reportedly underwent surgery to place a stent in one of his arteries and has also experienced chest pains in recent months.
Schilling's wife, Shonda, was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma in 2001.
"Shonda and I want to send a sincere thank you and our appreciation to those who have called and sent prayers, and we ask that if you are so inclined, to keep the Schillings in your prayers," Schilling also said in his statement on Wednesday.
Since retiring from professional baseball, Schilling has been working as an MLB analyst for ESPN, and in December the network announced that Schilling would be joining ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team for the upcoming season.
As of right now, neither Schilling nor ESPN has announced if Schilling's broadcast work will be affected.