Famed billionaire investor Warren Buffett has been diagnosed with stage-1 prostate cancer, according to Bloomberg TV and other reports. Berkshire Hathaway, the firm where the 81-year-old Buffett is CEO, said the diagnosis "isn't remotely life threatening."
Buffett said in a letter to shareholders Tuesday that he received his diagnosis last Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. He added that the scans that detected the prostate cancer "showed no incidence of cancer elsewhere in my body." He wrote that he plans to begin a two-month daily regimen of radiation treatment starting in mid-July.
Buffett added that he would let shareholders know "immediately" if his health situation changes.
"Eventually, of course, it will; but I believe that day is a long way off," Buffett wrote in the letter.
Buffett's successor is a constant topic of speculation among the financial community. He said in February that the company has someone in mind to take his place once he steps down, but he emphasized at the time that he had no plans to leave his post.
Buffett told CBS' 60 Minutes that he wants his son Howard to become a "non-executive chairman" of the company after the elder Buffett dies. The position would give Howard a role in directing the strategy of the company, but he wouldn't be paid.
President Obama named a proposal that would have raised taxes on the wealthy after the so-called Oracle of Omaha inspired by Buffett's recent push for raising taxes on the rich. The plan failed in the Senate on Monday.
From the Associated Press:
OMAHA, Neb. — Warren Buffett told his company's shareholders in an open letter Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer.
The 81-year-old billionaire investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said his condition is "not remotely life-threatening" or debilitating. He said he and his doctors have decided on a two-month treatment plan that is to begin in mid-July.
"I feel great – as if I were in my normal excellent health," Buffett said in the letter. "And my energy level is 100 percent. I discovered the cancer because my PSA level (an indicator my doctors had regularly checked for many years) recently jumped beyond its normal elevation and a biopsy seemed warranted."
Buffett said he was diagnosed April 11 and has received tests including a CAT scan, a bone scan and an MRI.
Buffett is known for a no-nonsense approach to investing. He is one of the world's richest men and, in recent years, has become one of its most generous philanthropists.
Buffett's stake in Berkshire Hathaway was more than $43 billion as of December.
Although his investment success has made Buffett a Wall Street icon, he still lives and works in his hometown of Omaha in a house he bought in 1958.
Some 240,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.
Many prostate cancer patients with slow-growing tumors can live their whole lives without symptoms or treatment, according to the American Cancer Society. Many die of something else before the cancer kills them.
Buffett concluded his letter with a nod to that fact.
"I will let shareholders know immediately should my health situation change," he wrote. "Eventually, of course, it will; but I believe that day is a long way off."
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