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article imageGeneral Petraeus Treated for Prostate Cancer

By Chris Dade     Oct 6, 2009 in World
A spokesman for Gen. David Petraeus, top commander for the U.S. in the Middle East, has confirmed that the general was diagnosed with and treated for prostate cancer earlier in the year.
Col. Erik O. Gunhus said that the diagnosis of early-stage prostate cancer took place in February, following which the general received two months of radiation treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.
According to CNN the treatment is said to have been a success and did not interfere with the general's duties as he was spending four or five days a week in Washington at the time conducting policy reviews and other Pentagon business.
President Obama, Vice-President Biden, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen were amongst the officials aware of the general's diagnosis and treatment but because it was considered a mainly private matter and did not specifically interfere with his duties no public announcement was made.
Indeed he took at least one trip overseas whilst still receiving his treatment.
Gen. Petraeus, described by the New York Times as a "fanatical devotee of physical fitness" who is "known to be capable of trouncing 19-year-old recruits in pushup contests", is 56 years old and was nominated as commander of U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) in April 2008. His nomination was subsequently confirmed by the Senate. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan both fall within his remit.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the general appears to have taken something of a back seat in recent months as the conflict in Afghanistan and the debate over the best policy for the U.S. to adopt there have taken center stage. General Petraeus is largely associated with the "surge" in Iraq, which is credited with reducing the level of violence and the activities of the insurgents in the country.
However the warm relationship he enjoyed with the George W. Bush White House has not necessarily continued with the current administration and Gen. Stanley McChrystal is the man figuring most prominently in the public eye when the Afghanistan war is being debated. Nevertheless General Petraeus is still heavily engaged in the decision-making process for policy in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Despite his lower profile advisers to the general have quashed rumors that he is considering a run for the Presidency in 2012.
It is noted by the New York Times that prostate cancer causes some 30,000 deaths a year in the U.S and is second only to lung cancer when it comes to cancer deaths amongst the male population. Early detection does offer a sufferer an excellent chance of recovery.
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