Denver Nuggets coach George Karl has undergone five radiation and two chemotherapy treatments since being recently diagnosed with throat cancer, according to his doctor.
Dr. Jacques Saari said Karl's tumor, which had grown the size of a walnut, has already begun to shrink in response to the treatments.
Saari described the first three weeks of Karl's treatment as the "honeymoon" period, and said the last two weeks of the six weeks of procedures will be the toughest, adding that Karl will have major trouble swallowing and could develop oral ulcers.
Karl missed his first game Thursday since revealing he had the malignant throat tumor earlier this month. He did not accompany the Nuggets on their flight to Oakland for their game against the Warriors.
Assistant Adrian Dantley filled in for the 127-112 win over Golden State.
Karl announced on Feb. 16 that he was diagnosed with neck and throat cancer.
Karl has previously said he expects to miss the Nuggets' game at Minnesota on March 10. He also is doubtful for the game at New Orleans two nights later, and possibly another during Denver's five-game trip at the end of the month.
Karl had been cancer-free since prostate surgery in July 2005.
"I'm not going to miss treatments. So when we're on the road during the middle of the week, I'm probably going to miss those games," Karl said. "I'm going to be tough, but I'm not going to be stupid-tough. The radiation and the chemotherapy treatment will get harsher and more difficult in weeks to come, but putting off the treatment would not have made any sense."
Information from ESPN NBA reporter Lisa Salters and The Associated Press was used in this report.