Former Penn State head coach Paterno has lung cancer

Former longtime Penn State head coach Joe Paterno has lung cancer, according to The Associated Press.

Joe PaternoICONFormer Penn State head coach Joe Paterno is battling a treatable form of lung cancer.

Son Scott Paterno said in a statement, however, that his father has a treatable form of the disease, is undergoing treatment and that "his doctors are optimistic he will make a full recovery."

"As everyone can appreciate, this is a deeply personal matter for my parents, and we simply ask that his privacy be respected as he proceeds with treatment," Scott Paterno said in the statement.

Scott Paterno said the diagnosis was made at a follow-up visit last weekend for a bronchial illness.

The 84-year-old Joe Paterno, who has more victories than any other Division I head football coach and has two national championships on his resume, had been the Nittany Lions head coach for 46 seasons before being fired in the wake of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky being charged with sexually abusing young boys across a 15-year period.

He had announced his retirement on the morning of Nov. 9 effective the end of this season before Penn State's board of trustees fired him later that day.

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