Joe Paterno has lung cancer, son says

(AP) - Former Penn State coach Joe Paternohas a treatable form of lung cancer, according to his son.

Scott Paterno said in a statement provided to The AssociatedPress by a family representative on Friday that the 84-year-old JoePaterno is undergoing treatment and that "his doctors areoptimistic he will make a full recovery."

"As everyone can appreciate, this is a deeply personal matterfor my parents, and we simply ask that his privacy be respected ashe proceeds with treatment," Scott Paterno said in a briefstatement.

Scott Paterno said the diagnosis was made during a follow-upvisit last weekend for a bronchial illness.

Earlier Friday, the Standard-Speaker newspaper of Hazleton, Pa.,reported that Paterno had been seen Wednesday visiting the MountNittany Medical Center and was treated for an undisclosed ailmentand released.

Paterno was fired last week in the aftermath of shockingallegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky,charged with sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years. Heinitially announced his retirement effective the end of the seasonthe morning of Nov. 9 before university trustees fired him about 12hours later.

The lurid scandal tarnished the reputation of a football programthat once prided itself on the slogan "Success with Honor." TheHall of Famer's 409 career victories are a Division I record.

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