Warren Buffett, the world’s third richest man, has been diagnosed with stage 1 prostate cancer. The billionaire investor’s announcement came as Love Story actor Ryan O’Neal revealed that he was recently told he has stage 2 prostate cancer.
The stats. Prostate cancer affects an estimated 242,000 American men every year. According to the American Cancer Society, 28,170 men will die of the disease in in the US in 2012. The BBC reported that 37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer annually in the UK.
The prognosis. “Like most men diagnosed with stage I — or early stage — prostate cancer, Warren Buffett is almost certain to die of something else,” wrote Ron Winslow at The Wall Street Journal. Winslow reported that medical experts have said stage 1 prostate cancer is usually “slow-growing and curable”.
The BBC reported that a new technique to treat early prostate cancer may transform future treatment, as it reduces the risk of impotence and incontinence.
The survivors. High-profile survivors of the disease include former South African leader Nelson Mandela, New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, one-time Yankees manager Joe Torre, Hollywood actor Robert De Niro and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. In the business sector, magnate Michael Milken and former Intel CEO Andy Grove were also diagnosed with the condition. “Milken started the Prostate Cancer Foundation, which raised $210 million from its founding in 1993 through 2003. He still heads the foundation today,” reported Kerry A. Dolan for Forbes.
To screen or not to screen. The medical community is divided over the value of prostate cancer screening. “While early results from a U.S. study have shown that annual screening… found more prostate cancers than in men who skipped screening, it did not lower the death rate at all,” said Michael Castillo at CBS. “A European study did show a lower risk of death with more screening, but noted that 1,400 men would have to be screened and 48 treated before one death would be prevented.”