Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Diagnosed With Cancer

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar cancer Lakers

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reveals in a new interview that he's been battling cancer for more than a year.

The NBA's all-time leading scorer tells People magazine he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in December 2008.

"Having lost one of my closest friends to a different, highly aggressive form of leukemia, I knew how serious my diagnosis was," said Abdul-Jabbar, 62. "My own life expectancy became a question mark."

Abdul-Jabbar, who helped the L.A. Lakers win five championships, says he's telling his story, "to encourage fellow patients to take charge of their health. Work closely with your doctor, monitor your disease and, above all, take your medicine."

The former pro currently serves as a coach with the Lakers. He's undergoing treatment with a medicine that targets the abnormal protein that causes his leukemia, and is expected to live a full, active life, People reports.