Berkshire’s Warren Buffett Reveals Stage I Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

April 18, 2012

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., revealed Tuesday that he has Stage 1 prostate cancer but assured his condition is not “remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way.”

Warren Buffett

In a letter to shareholders, the world’s third-richest man said he will begin a two-month treatment of daily radiation in mid-July. The treatment is expected to restrict his travel during that period, Buffett said in his letter.

“I feel great,” he said in his letter. “I will let shareholders know immediately should my health situation change.”

Buffett has an excellent chance of recovering fully since the cancer was detected at an early stage, according to medical experts. The 10-year survival rate for men diagnosed with Stage 1 prostate cancer — which means it has not spread outside the prostate gland — is 99.5 percent according to the National Cancer Institute.

Omaha, Neb.-headquartered Berkshire Hathaway is the parent company of auto insurer GEICO as well as reinsurer General Re.

Below is the full text of Buffett’s letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders:

April 17, 2012

To the Shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway:

This is to let you know that I have been diagnosed with stage I prostate cancer. The good news is that I’ve been told by my doctors that my condition is not remotely lifethreatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way. I received my diagnosis last Wednesday. I then had a CAT scan and a bone scan on Thursday, followed by an MRI today. These tests showed no incidence of cancer elsewhere in my body.

My doctors and I have decided on a two-month treatment of daily radiation to begin in mid-July. This regimen will restrict my travel during that period, but will not otherwise change my daily routine.

I feel great – as if I were in my normal excellent health – and my energy level is 100 percent. I discovered the cancer because my PSA level (an indicator my doctors had regularly checked for many years) recently jumped beyond its normal elevation and a biopsy seemed warranted.

I will let shareholders know immediately should my health situation change. Eventually, of course, it will; but I believe that day is a long way off.

Warren E. Buffett

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