MITTERRAND'S DEADLY SECRET

THE PRESIDENT OF FRANCE KNEW IN 1981 THAT HE HAD ADVANCED PROSTATE CANCER. HOW DID HE LIVE SO LONG?

FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS MITTERrand had been in office just six months when his doctor gave him the grim news: the leg and back pains he had been experiencing were due to a previously undiagnosed cancer of the prostate that had spread to his bones. The prognosis was not good. Half the men in Mitterrand's condition die within three years. Only 1 in 10 survives a decade or more.

But that's just what Mitterrand did. And his death two weeks ago--following a string of highly publicized prostate-cancer deaths that includes those of Telly Savalas, Don Ameche and Frank Zappa--served to underscore how...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!