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Health Bulletin Indicates Mitterrand’s Cancer Problem Persists

December 17, 1992

PARIS (AP) _ President Francois Mitterrand’s prostate cancer has not spread, but it also is not responding fully to treatment, according to a health bulletin today from the president’s physician.

The president, 76, sharply curtailed his activities during a three-week convalescence after undergoing surgery three months ago, but subsequently has resumed full-time duties, including foreign travel.

Today’s bulletin said Mitterrand’s health was generally good and that extensive testing had showed no signs of the cancer’s spread to any secondary locations.

But the bulletin said the level of prostate-specific antigen in Mitterrand’s blood, used to measure responsiveness to treatment, was ″still higher than normal.″

″This is not a good prognosis and shows that Mr. Mitterrand is responding insufficiently to treatment,″ said Dr. Richard Fourcade, an official of the French Association of Urologists, in assessing the report.

But Dr. Marc Maidenberg, another prominent urologist, said it was too soon to draw conclusions about Mitterrand’s cancer.

Mitterrand’s second seven-year term expires in 1995. He has proposed constitutional reforms to shorten the presidential term, but has been vague about whether he might step down early.

Polls indicate his Socialist Party is likely to lose control of the National Assembly in legislative elections in March, an outcome that would force Mitterrand into a coalition government with a conservative prime minister.

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