Cardinal George To Undergo New Regimen of Chemotherapy

Treatment will be more aggressive than first round of chemotherapy

Friday, Mar 7, 2014  |  Updated 7:20 PM CDT
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The Cardinal will begin aggressive chemotherapy for cancer in his right kidney.  NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports

The Cardinal will begin aggressive chemotherapy for cancer in his right kidney. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports

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Cardinal Francis George will begin a new round of chemotherapy to treat cancer cells in his right kidney, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced Friday.

The latest treatment was recommended by George's medical team after recent testing and biopsies. The Archdiocese said the treatment will be more aggressive than the first round but initially will be used for a shorter amount of time.

“This Lent finds me once again in poor health," George wrote in his column in Catholic New World. "My cancer, which was dormant for well over a year, is still confined to the area of the right kidney, but it is beginning to show signs of new activity."

George has survived two bouts with cancer. He underwent surgery for bladder cancer several years ago and in August 2012 learned he had cancerous cells in his kidney and liver. Though the urothelial cancer has been dormant for well over a year, it remains confined to his right kidney.

"As I prepare for this next round of chemo, I ask for your prayers, which have always sustained me," George said, "and for your understanding if I cannot always fulfill the schedule already set for the next several months."

George said he isn't currently experiencing symptoms of cancer and intends to maintain his administrative and public schedule as he did during his first round of chemo. His schedule may be reduced because of lowered immunity.

The treatment will take place over the next two months, at the end of which George's reaction to the medication will be evaluated.

"This is a difficult form of the disease," he said, "and it will most probably eventually be the cause of my death. Chemo is designed to shrink the tumor, prevent symptoms and prolong life.”

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