Microsoft Co-Founder Sees Recurrence of Cancer

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft in 1975 with Bill Gates, has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL).  This is a recurrence of the disease;  Allen previously fought and beat NHL after being diagnosed in 1983, the year he left Microsoft.

Since leaving Microsoft, Paul Allen has purchased three pro sports teams: the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, and MLS's Seattle Sounders that began playing in the 2009 season.  Additionally, he is the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., his private asset management company.

A memo was sent to employees of Vulcan, as well as the media, by Vulcan CEO Jody Allen, who is also Paul Allen's sister:
To employees of Vulcan and affiliates:

   I want to let you know that Paul was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

   He received the diagnosis early this month and has begun chemotherapy. Doctors say he has diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a relatively common form of lymphoma.

   This is tough news for Paul and the family. But for those who know Paul's story, you know he beat Hodgkin's a little more than 25 years ago and he is optimistic he can beat this, too.

   Paul is feeling OK and remains upbeat. He continues to work and he has no plans to change his role at Vulcan. His health comes first, though, and we'll be sure that nothing intrudes on that.

   We would ask you to respect Paul's privacy and not discuss this outside of the office.

   If you have any questions, please ask your EC member.

   Thank you in advance for what I know will be all your good thoughts for Paul.

According to the American Cancer Society, there has been a general decline in Hodgkins lymphoma rates over the past 30 years, this disease now accounts for only 1 percent of all cancers. At the same time, rates of NHL have increased by more than 70 percent during this same period. NHL is currently the fifth most common type of cancer in the U.S. and accounts for about 4 percent of all cancers.