Light & Verity

President undergoes cancer surgery

President Rick Levin ’74PhD took time off in May to recover after having surgery for prostate cancer on April 30. Levin handed off his duties to Provost Peter Salovey ’86PhD and Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer ’77JD before returning to preside over commencement weekend, May 23-25. Levin is now back to working nearly full-time. He said in an e-mail in mid-June that he feels "fine, if still a little tired" and that postoperative tests confirm that his prognosis is "excellent."

Levin, who is 62, was diagnosed during a routine physical. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men, striking an estimated 186,320 in 2008, according to the American Cancer Society. Fortunately, it's very often beatable. More than 90 percent of all prostate cancers are discovered before they spread to distant parts of the body, and for those patients, the five-year survival rate "approaches 100 percent," the Cancer Society reports.

Levin's operation was performed at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Asked why he was not treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital's own cancer center, Levin says that he had made his decision "after thorough research and consultation with physicians and surgeons at Yale and elsewhere." He added that his doctor, Memorial Sloan-Kettering surgery chair Dr. Peter Scardino, is "a devoted member of the Yale College Class of 1967."  

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