Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen was diagnosed earlier this month with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma . The news was disclosed by his sister, Jody Allen, in an e-mail to employees of Vulcan, Allen’s holding company. The cancer is similar to one Allen suffered from that lead to his retirement from Microsoft in 1983.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that occurs in the cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, becomes abnormal, and multiply rapidly. Because these abnormal cells don’t die when they should the body is less protected from infection and disease. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can occur at any age. Nearly 66,000 Americans each year are diagnosed with this form of cancer.
Allen, who is 56, is on a bit of an unlucky streak. News of his cancer follows close on the heels of a bout with heart disease, which required a heart-value replacement. Allen is currently undergoing chemotherapy. According to his sister: "Paul is feeling OK and remains upbeat. He continues to work and he has no plans to change his role at Vulcan. His health comes first, though, and we'll be sure that nothing intrudes on that."
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