General David H Petraeus,the commander of American military forces in West Asia,received a diagnosis of early-stage prostate cancer in February but has undergone successful radiation treatment to deal with the illness,according to a statement issued on Tuesday.
General Petraeus,56,who as head of the US Central Command oversees operations in Afghanistan and Iraq,underwent two months of radiation treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center,which had minimal impact on his work schedule,according to the statement.
The statement was issued by the generals spokesman,Col. Erik O. Gunhus,in response to questions from The New York Times.
At the time of the treatment,the general was spending four or five days a week in Washington for policy reviews,the statement said. General Petraeus also took at least one overseas trip during the period of the treatment,and he was able to maintain his regimen of physical training,the statement said.
The treatment is assessed to have been successful, the statement said.
President Obama; Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; Adm. Mike Mullen,the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and other top officials were informed of the initial diagnosis and treatment,the statement said.
The general did not disclose the information until now because he and his family considered the situation a private matter and it did not interfere with the performance of his duties,the statement said.