Former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano Hospitalized With Cancer, but Recovering

Janet Napolitano (in 2011)
Janet Napolitano (in 2011) Medill DC via Flickr
Former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano was hospitalized because of her cancer treatments, but is expected to return to work soon as president of the University of California.

The university released news this afternoon about Napolitano's ongoing battle with cancer, saying doctors diagnosed her latest bout with the disease at the end of August.

Napolitano, 59, was serving as Arizona's first woman attorney general when she underwent a mastectomy in 2000 after a diagnosis of breast cancer.

Voters elected her to Arizona's highest office in 2002. She won reelection in 2008, but left the state mid-term when President Obama picked her to head Homeland Security.  She served in the post until resigning in August 2013 to take the UC job.

The release by UC's Office of the President states that Napolitano had a "previous diagnosis of cancer that was successfully treated."  Tracy FitzGerald, a UC spokeswoman, was unable to make clear, however,  if UC was referring to her 2000 illness.

In any case, Napolitano's latest treatment, which wasn't specified, "is nearly complete," according to the university.

"During the course of this treatment, President Napolitano has consistently performed her wide range of duties at full capacity, without interruption or impact," the university's release said. "Yesterday, however, she experienced side effects that required her to be hospitalized. According to her physicians, she is doing extremely well. They expect her to be discharged in the next day or so and back to her normal duties at full capacity very soon.

"While she is recuperating, UC’s senior leadership will continue to support President Napolitano in the management of the UC system and in advancing the University’s key priorities."
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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.