Nelson Mandela Has Prostate Cancer

ByABC News

J O H A N N E S B U R G, South Africa, July 24, 2001 -- Former South African PresidentNelson Mandela has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, though thecancer should not pose a threat to his life, Mandela's foundationannounced today.

Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, will undergo a seven-weekradiotherapy course to treat the microscopic cancer in hisprostate, according to a statement from the Nelson MandelaFoundation. The cancer was not of a high grade and should not decreaseMandela's life span, the statement said. Mandela will not requirechemotherapy or surgery, it said.

Still Active at 83

Since retiring from the presidency in 1999, Mandela, 83, hasmaintained an extremely active schedule, regularly travelingoverseas and mediating peace efforts in Burundi. He is also writinga second autobiography. Despite the cancer, Mandela's health "remains excellent and hewill be able to maintain most of his local and overseas commitmentsas he has done in the past," the statement said. Last November, Mandela's doctors said they had discovered highprotein levels in his blood, a possible indicator of prostatecancer. They discovered the microscopic cancer in a subsequentexamination.

Aid: Common Condition, Not Serious

Mandela's spokeswoman, Zelda la Grange, told The AssociatedPress the condition was not serious and was common among many menhis age. Mandela had most of his prostate removed in surgery over adecade ago after tumors were discovered in the gland. Those tumorsproved to be benign.

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