De Niro Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer

10/21/2003 01:55AM

The Raging Bull has another fight on his hands: Robert De Niro has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, his publicist announced Monday.

Prognosis for the "Raging Bull" and "The Godfather, Part II" Oscar winner's recovery is good, the rep added.

"Doctors say the condition was detected at an early stage because of regular checkups," publicist Stan Rosenfield said in a statement. "Because of the early detection and his excellent physical condition, doctors project a full recovery."

Rosenfield declined to provide further details about the actor's condition or course of treatment, but said De Niro, 60, still planned to fulfill his commitment to start shooting his next film, "Hide and Seek," early next year.

"Obviously," Rosenfield tells the Associated Press, "things will need to be postponed a little bit."

In the U.S., nearly 221,000 men every year are reportedly diagnosed with the disease, and 29,000 die from it. But in survival rates cited by the American Red Cross, 85 percent of all prostate cancers are, as was apparently the case with De Niro, discovered in early stages.

The five-year relative survival rate for patients whose tumors are diagnosed at this point is 100 percent, says the Red Cross.

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