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Columnist Caen Says He Has Lung Cancer

May 30, 1996| Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Herb Caen has inoperable lung cancer, but plans to continue writing three columns a week if he can.

"This is serious stuff. The cancer is inoperable," Caen writes in today's San Francisco Chronicle.

Caen, 80, whose gossipy column has recorded the city's moods and events for 57 years, learned he had cancer about a month ago when he developed pneumonia, said his assistant, Carole Vernier.

Caen smoked for 40 years, but quit 25 years ago.

"I have had two chemotherapy sessions so far, with the promise of many more to come," Caen writes.

"My life is now controlled by a dream team of specialists, who keep my once-pristine medicine cabinet stocked with pills--the cabinet that once contained nothing more medical than Band-Aids. Old ones. Foolish pride: I considered myself indestructible."

In April, Caen won a special Pulitzer Prize honoring his "continuing contribution as a voice and a conscience of his city."

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