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Cardinal George undergoing more chemotherapy

Cardinal Francis George | Sun-Times file photo

Cardinal Francis George | Sun-Times file photo

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Updated: April 9, 2014 6:11AM

Cardinal Francis George is undergoing a new round of chemotherapy to treat cancer, which George expects to likely be the eventual cause of his death, the Archdiocese of Chicago revealed Friday.

“While I am not experiencing symptoms of cancer at this time, this is a difficult form of the disease, and it will most probably eventually be the cause of my death,” George said in the latest edition of Catholic New World. “Chemo is designed to shrink the tumor, prevent symptoms and prolong life.”

The chemotherapy is being administered to treat signs of cancer surrounding his right kidney.

George, 77, was diagnosed with cancer in August 2012 and underwent chemotherapy at that time. The cancer, which had been dormant for more than a year, is still confined to the area of his right kidney, the archdiocese said.

“After extensive testing, scans, biopsies and diagnosis, it was agreed that the best course of action is for the Cardinal to enter into a regimen of chemotherapy with drugs more aggressive than those used in the first round but for a more limited duration initially,” the archdiocese said in a statement.

George will maintain his administrative and public schedule during the chemotherapy, the archdiocese said.

George had radical surgery to remove his cancerous bladder, prostate and part of his right ureter in July of 2006. He spent 19 days at Loyola University Medical Center and emerged cancer-free.

George submitted his letter of resignation in 2012, as all bishops are required to do when they reach 75 years of age. At the time, he said he hoped to remain at the helm of the Chicago archdiocese for a few more years. Pope Francis has yet to accept George’s resignation. But in January, archdiocese spokeswoman Colleen Dolan said it likely would be six to 12 months before that occurs.


Twitter: @KnowlesFran

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