Blazers owner Allen diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen has been diagnosed with having non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a team representative said Monday.

Allen began chemotherapy sessions earlier this month, according to Vulcan, Inc., spokesman David Postman.

Postman said a message was sent out Monday about Allen’s diagnosis by Jody Allen, CEO of Vulcan and Paul’s sister.

“It didn’t go into a lot of detail,” Postman said.

This marks the second time Allen has been diagnosed with a form of Hodgkin’s disease. He was successfully treated for the illness 26 years ago.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system.

Tumors develop from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Non-Hodgkin’s is more than five times as common as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s incidence rates have increased in recent years, but so has the survival rate.

Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft who also owns the Seattle Seahawks and co-owns the Seattle Sounders, underwent heart surgery last summer.

Postman stated that Allen was feeling better about his recent heart issues and thought he had “turned the corner.”

“This, obviously, is something new,” Postman said. “And, frankly, it makes it, I think, all that much harder on him and the people around him and the people who work for him. Because it’s been a tough year for him.”

Postman added, though, that there is nothing at this point about Allen’s illness that should affect his work as chairman of Vulcan or as the Blazers’ and Seahawks’ owner.

“He’s remaining as plugged in as always,” Postman said.

Blazers president Larry Miller stated that Allen’s vision of the Blazers is one of a winning organization that represents the regional community in a positive light. And Miller said the franchise will continue to execute and honor the commitment Allen has made to the team while he deals with his newly diagnosed illness.

“Paul is to me, in my opinion, one of — if not the best — owners in all of sports,” Miller said. “We’re really fortunate to have him here as our owner.”

Miller added: “We hope that all of our fans and all of our partners and everybody will keep him in their thoughts and prayers. Our hope is that he will beat this like he did in the past.”

Allen, 56, was born in Seattle and resides in Mercer Island.

In 2008, Forbes magazine listed Allen as being the 32nd richest person in the world, with an estimated worth of $10.5 billion.

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