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Giuliani Has Prostate Cancer; Illness Jeopardizes Senate Bid

By Lynne Duke
THE WASHINGTON POST -- Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani announced yesterday that he is suffering from prostate cancer and said treatment of the disease could force him to take time off from City Hall and possibly endanger his U.S. Senate bid against Hillary Clinton.

The revelation stunned the New York political world and came just one day after Giuliani was spotted leaving Manhattan’s Mt. Sinai Hospital, where he learned the results of a biopsy that he said revealed “a very, very early stage of the disease.” A range of treatments are available, and the head of oncology at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Michael Droller, said Giuliani’s cancer is “curable” and his prognosis “excellent.”

But the disclosure of a cancerous condition called into question Giuliani’s political status. While advisers sought to assure voters that the campaign is going forward, speculation flew Thursday that he may have to withdraw from the Senate race and leave Republicans, at the eleventh hour, without a strong candidate to lead their high-stakes battle to stop Clinton.

GOP leaders have seen Giuliani, 55, two-term mayor and former mob-busting federal prosecutor, as the perfect political colossus to take on the first lady. But the often brash, take-charge mayor acknowledged Thursday that he has no firm answers about his future, and he would not outline a time frame for making decisions about his medical and political course.

“I hope that I’ll be able to run,” Giuliani, “but the choice that I’m going to make about treatment will be contingent upon the treatment that gives me the best opportunity to have a full and complete cure and then, after I determine that, then I will figure out does it make sense to run this year or doesn’t it or whatever.

“There are different forms of treatment; they extend over different periods of time. I think it’s probably too early to discuss it. Would I have to take time off from the job? Or from running? Yeah, probably. Sure. I don’t think significant, like months and months, but some forms of treatment would require taking some time off,” he said.