Likewise for treating the disease. Any man at that age should have "a careful conversation with his physician about the pros and cons of treatment," let alone which type is best, Lichtenfeld said. "We're becoming increasingly aware that not every man needs to be treated."
Buffett has chosen radiation treatment — five days a week for six weeks. During radiation treatment, people feel tired and have some risk of urinary and bowel problems but usually can work and live normally, said Dr. Sean Collins, a radiation oncologist at Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
"It's kind of like kindergarten — the hardest part is showing up," he said.
Many prostate cancer patients die of something else before the cancer kills them. Buffett concluded his letter with a nod to that fact.
"I will let shareholders know immediately should my health situation change," he wrote. "Eventually, of course, it will; but I believe that day is a long way off."
Berkshire's class B shares rose $1.09 Tuesday to close at $80.76. They fell 95 cents after hours following the announcement of Buffett's diagnosis.
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Associated Press Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione in Milwaukee and AP Business Writer Laura Impellizzeri in San Francisco contributed to this report.
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