SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Henry Cisneros, who served as housing secretary under President Bill Clinton, says he has been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer but expects to beat the disease with nine weeks of radiation therapy.
Cisneros told the San Antonio Express-News (http://bit.ly/LViSdg ) that his diagnosis in January hasn't bothered him and defended his decision to seek treatment, even though some doctors recommend that prostate cancers caught at such an early stage might not warrant therapy.
The former San Antonio mayor began his treatment in May. Cinsneros, 65, said he went public with his diagnosis to encourage more men — particularly blacks and Hispanics — to receive prostate screenings.
"I have great faith that the technology will beat it," Cisneros told the newspaper.
Cisneros served as the Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Bill Clinton for four years in the 1990s. Before that he spent eight years as a popular mayor who garnered national attention as one of the first Hispanic leaders of a major U.S. city at a time when the country's Hispanic population was on the rise.
He admitted in 1999 that while he was being considered for a Cabinet job, he lied to the FBI about how much he paid a former mistress and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Clinton pardoned him before leaving office.
Cisneros is now executive chairman of CityView, a Los Angeles-based investment company focused on urban development. He continues to work and live in San Antonio.
Cisneros told the newspaper his treatment has resulted in no major side effects so far. Some experts recommend against treating low-stage prostate cancers because, in some cases, side effects can be more likely to cause problems than the disease itself. Instead, those experts recommend that the cancer simply be monitored.
Cisneros is undergoing external radiation therapy five days a week. He recently published a book about aging called, "Independent for Life: Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging America."