Joe Paterno has lung cancer, says son

Paterno at a press conference earlier this year.
Justin K. Aller

You know your life is in a bad stretch when “your lung cancer is treatable” is the most positive news you’ve had in weeks.

Only days after losing his job due to allegations that he didn’t do enough to stop alleged sexual abuse by one of his long-time assistants, former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno also learned this week that he has a form of treatable lung cancer, according to his son.

From the Associated Press:

Scott Paterno said in a statement provided to The Associated Press by a family representative on Friday that the 84-year-old Joe Paterno is undergoing treatment and that “his doctors are optimistic he will make a full recovery.”

“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 in a brief statement.

Scott Paterno said the diagnosis was made during a follow-up visit last weekend for a bronchial illness.

Paterno had been head coach at Penn State for 46 years, and had prided himself on giving the university an institutional culture of honor, academics and leadership.


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