STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (KDKA) — Former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
His son, Scott Paterno, says the diagnosis came last weekend. He had a follow up appointment because of a bronchial condition.
Scott Paterno says his father has a “treatable form” of lung cancer and doctors expect him to make a full recovery.
Still, news of the diagnosis hit the Penn State campus hard.
“It’s really unfortunate everything that happened here with Joe and I wish him well – I hope he beats this,” a student told KDKA-TV.
“It’s a shame, he’s a good guy, he did a lot for the university,” another student added.
Despite the scandal and its fallout, the support for Paterno on campus is very strong.
“I’m a strong supporter of Joe Paterno and it pains me to hear that,” a student said.
Many feel he has already gotten a raw deal.
“He should have had the opportunity to let trial take its place,” the student added.
Scott Paterno says it’s a deeply personal matter and that his parents want privacy while his father goes through treatment.
The Paterno family has not revealed what type of cancer Joe Paterno is battling.
KDKA Health Editor Dr. Maria Simbra says there are two main types of lung cancer – small cell and non-small cell.
Non-small cell is the most common and accounts for 80 percent of lung cancers. Treatment will depend on what kind of cancer Paterno has, but usually the options for treatment include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Survival depends on how far advanced the cancer is at the time of diagnosis, overall health and other factors.
Generally, 14 percent of patients survive five years after diagnosis.
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LINK: Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office
LINK: Penn State Nittany Lions