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updated: 8/17/2012 6:14 PM

Cardinal George has cancer a second time

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  • Cardinal George speaking at Wheaton College in 2011.

      Cardinal George speaking at Wheaton College in 2011.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

Associated Press

Cardinal Francis George, who survived bladder cancer six years ago, is planning a course of medical treatment after doctors found cancerous cells in his kidney and liver, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced Friday.

The archdiocese released a brief statement saying the 75-year-old cardinal learned the test results Friday following a procedure Wednesday at Loyola University Medical Center.

George, the spiritual leader of 2 million Roman Catholics in the Chicago area, was treated for bladder cancer in 2006 when doctors removed his bladder and prostate in a five-hour operation.

It's unclear whether the cardinal's current cancer spread from his bladder to his kidney, but doctors thought at the time that they'd removed all the cancer.

Friday's statement from the archdiocese said test results showed "there were cancerous cells in the kidney and in a nodule, which was removed from the liver."

"His doctors will work with the Cardinal to plan a course of treatment," the statement said. George plans to rest at home this weekend and be on retreat next week. The statement did not say whether George plans to continue working after that and archdiocese spokeswoman Susan Burritt said she had no further information.

George has experienced other health problems. At age 13, he had polio, which left his legs permanently damaged. He brought that experience to his 1990-2008 service on the board of the National Catholic Office for Persons with Disabilities, now called the National Catholic Partnership on Disability, according to a biography of George on the archdiocese's website.

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