Steve Lavin talks treatment options

NEW YORK -- St. John's men's basketball coach Steve Lavin will enter a new phase of his battle with prostate cancer next month, either by having surgery or by beginning radiation treatments.

Lavin, 47, was diagnosed with the disease in the fall of 2010, right before his first season at St. John's. Up until this point, he and his doctors had chosen to monitor his condition without undergoing further treatment.

"After the most recent consultation, my doctors feel at this point that the active surveillance approach is off the table," Lavin said Saturday. "So that narrows the treatment options to surgery or radiation."

Lavin spoke with reporters at an on-campus fundraiser for pediatric cancer research.

The Red Storm will begin formal practices with a Midnight Madness event on Friday, Oct. 14. The St. John's coach and former ESPN analyst expects to make a decision and commence treatment shortly before that. But he said Saturday that he feels good and he doesn't foresee this impacting his coaching.

And he's optimistic that, whatever decision he makes, he will conquer this challenge.

"The advantage of early detection," Lavin said, "is that we have these options that can assist in leading to a cancer-free life."

Kieran Darcy is a reporter and columnist for ESPNNewYork.com.