April 17, 2012 at 5:16 PM ET
Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor known as much for his folksy wisdom as his investing prowess, announced Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.
In a letter to shareholders, Buffett, 81, said that he had been diagnosed with stage I prostate cancer.
“The good news is that I've been told by my doctors that my condition is not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way,” Buffett said in the letter.
Buffett said that he will begin a two-month treatment of daily radiation in mid-July. He said his travel will be restricted during that time but it will not otherwise change his daily routine.
In his typical conversational style, Buffett said that he feels great.
“I will let shareholders know immediately should my health situation change. Eventually, of course, it will; but I believe that day is a long way off,” he said.
Prostate cancer is common among older men, but usually isn’t life-threatening. In 2011, 240,890 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, and 33,720 men died of it.
Speculation has long swirled around who would take over for Buffett should he no longer be able to run Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett said in February that he had chosen someone to succeed him as chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, but he did not name that person.
Buffett told CNBC Tuesday his succession plan had not changed with the diagnosis.
Buffett has been in the news lately because of his call for the rich to pay more taxes. The so-called Buffett rule, which was rejected by the Senate Monday, came after he wrote an editorial in the New York Times asking lawmakers to stop coddling the rich.
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Msnbc.com correspondent Brian Alexander contributed to this story.
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