Doctors Optimistic about Joe Paterno's Lung Cancer
reports, and wire, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno is undergoing treatment for lung cancer, although the prognosis is positive, his son said on Friday.
"His doctors are optimistic he will make a full recovery," Scott Paterno said in a brief 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."
Scott Paterno said the diagnosis was made during a follow-up visit last weekend for a bronchial illness.
"What a shame. He never even smoked," said John Skorupan of Cranberry, a former Penn State All-American linebacker in the early 1970s who played for the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants. "Coach Paterno is a good man. I'm shocked."
The university's Board of Trustees fired Paterno last week in the midst of the child sex abuse case against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who is charged with sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years. Critics say Paterno, whose 409 career victories are a Division I record, should have done more to stop the alleged abuse.
Paterno announced on Nov. 9 that he planned to retire at the end of this season. Trustees fired him about 12 hours later.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson called Paterno's diagnosis "another sad note for our Penn State community."
"I talked to Joe (on Thursday), and he seemed to be in pretty good spirits, all things considered," said former Steelers and Penn State running back Franco Harris. "You know, he's had that walking pneumonia off and on for a while now. It was typical Joe. He said, 'Don't you start worrying about me. I'll be fine.'"
Lung cancer accounts for more deaths than any form of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than 221,000 cases of lung cancer have been diagnosed this year, and almost 157,000 people have died from the disease, the National Cancer Institute reported. …