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Pat Burns was an assistant coach for the Canadian team at last year's world hockey championship in Halifax and Quebec City. ((Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images))

Former NHL coach Pat Burns, who has previously fought colon and liver cancer, says he now has lung cancer.

The 56-year-old told Montreal's La Presse he learned he had the disease when he returned from coaching at the world hockey championship last spring in Halifax and Quebec City

Burns had colon cancer during the 2003-04 season before getting liver cancer in 2005.

The former Montreal Canadiens coach underwent chemotherapy during his two previous illnesses but says he will forgo such treatment this time.

But the combative Burns hasn't given up, saying he just wants to fight the disease in other ways.

Burns also coached the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins and the New Jersey Devils.