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Joe Paterno has lung cancer

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Joe Paterno has lung cancer

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(CNN) — Joe Paterno, the Penn State football coach who lost his job amid allegations of child sex abuse against his former defensive coordinator, has a treatable form of lung cancer, his son said today .
The family learned of the diagnosis after Paterno’s follow-up visit last weekend for a bronchial illness, Scott Paterno said.
“He is currently undergoing treatment, and his doctors are optimistic that he will make a full recovery,” Scott Paterno said in a statement. “As everyone can appreciate, this is a deeply personal matter for my parents, and we simply ask that his privacy be respected as he proceeds with treatment.”
Paterno, 84, the football coach in Division I history, was fired last week amid the outcry over the handling of the abuse claims.
Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen said.
“It is such a difficult, difficult cancer to beat,” she said. “Often, it is found pretty late.”
Cohen said that catching the disease early is crucial to improving chances for survival. White men who discover their lung cancer early have a 50-50 chance of being alive five years later. If they catch it late, they have a 4% chance of being alive five years later, Cohen said.