By Eric M. Johnson
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp co-founder Paul Allen said on Monday he had started treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the same type of cancer he overcame nine years ago.
In a brief statement, Allen said he learned recently that the cancer had returned and said he planned "on fighting this aggressively" while staying involved in his philanthropic and business dealings.
"A lot has happened in medicine since I overcame this disease in 2009," Allen said. "My doctors are optimistic that I will see good results from the latest therapies, as am I."
Allen, who left Microsoft in 1983, said he plans to stay involved with Seattle-based Vulcan Inc, which he formed in 1986 to manage his multibillion-dollar portfolio. His investments include philanthropic activities and business dealings, including ownership stakes in professional sports teams, the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team, Seattle Seahawks football team and Seattle Sounders FC soccer club.
Allen, who ranked 44th on Forbes magazine's 2018 list of billionaires with a fortune of $20.5 billion, is a major benefactor in Seattle, funding everything from libraries and universities to brain research.
In late August Allen's space company, Stratolaunch Systems Corp, unveiled details of medium-lift rockets and a reusable space cargo plane it is developing, injecting more competition into the lucrative launch services market.
"I have confidence in the leadership teams to manage their ongoing operations during my treatment," Allen said.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; editing by Lisa Shumaker and Bill Berkrot)