Trent Williams, offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers, puts his all into the sport of football. With nine pro-bowl selections under his belt, Williams has played the game of football with the strength, physical and technical dominance that makes opponents question how he does it. What Williams didn’t know, however, is that he would need that same dominance to defeat an opponent he didn’t see coming, cancer.
In his documentary “Silverback: The Trent Williams Story”, which debuted on December 14, Williams opens up about his battle with cancer.
“My agent talked me into doing it,” Williams, who is usually private, shares about his documentary release. “I wasn’t a huge fan of doing it at first. He just kept working on me, just knowing that maybe I could help someone in my same position or reach somebody just to give them a little more motivation.”
Inside his shocking diagnosis
In 2013, after noticing a mass on his head, Williams was told it wasn’t anything to be concerned about and wouldn’t get an official diagnosis until years later.
“I was told it was something minor, so I didn’t really question it,” Williams says of the team’s initial assessment. “The diagnosis that they gave me in the beginning, they kind of underestimated it.”
Williams was prepared to undergo what he was told would be a simple extraction following the 2018 NFL season. Instead, he received heartbreaking news. He had Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP), a rare form of cancer that was creeping toward his brain. This form of cancer begins in the middle layer of the skin and tends to grow slowly.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, “the first sign of this skin cancer is often a small bump on the skin. It may resemble a deep-seated pimple or rough patch of skin. DFSP can also look like a scar. In children, it may remind you of a birthmark.”
If left untreated, DFSP can grow deep into the fat, muscle, and even bone.
The then 30-year-old was now preparing for what doctors told him would be his “last days”.
“Six weeks or six months, I didn’t think (there was) a big difference in that,” he says. “I was told to get my affairs in order, so I didn’t have