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MANTLE'S LATEST WOE: LUNG CANCER

Cancer has spread to Mickey Mantle's lungs, the baseball great and his doctor said today.

"About two weeks ago doctors said they found a couple of spots of cancer in my lungs," Mantle said on ABC's "Good Morning America.""Now, I'm taking chemotherapy to take care of the cancer."

Dr. Robert Goldstein, Mantle's transplant surgeon, told ABC that after a "routine follow-up, cancer had spread to his lungs in couple of spots. This is a new problem unknown to us and it is beginning to show some growth."

Goldstein said that Mantle would not have gotten a liver transplant on June 8 if they knew he had cancer.

Goldstein was, however, optimistic for Mantle's recovery.

"I think we'll see him rebound and give him aggressive therapy."

A half hour before ABC aired its report, Baylor University Medical Center said "a significant new development" in the medical condition of baseball great Mickey Mantle was to be announced.

The hospital reported the new development in a news release issued about 5:30 a.m. CDT.

One of Mantle's doctors said Monday night that Mantle returned to the hospital last Friday after undergoing a debilitating chemotherapy treatment, which did not suggest that his liver condition was worsening.

On Monday night, Dr. Daniel DeMarco said Mantle's team of doctors will offer a "complete progress report" on his condition at a news conference scheduled for 11 a.m. today.

DeMarco made no mention of "a significant new development" Monday night in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Mantle, 63, who underwent a liver transplant June 8 after he was diagnosed with a malignant tumor, was readmitted to Baylor University Medical Center on Friday, said DeMarco, Mantle's gastroenterologist.

Mantle has been undergoing a series of chemotherapy treatments that include the use of adriamycin, which is a 30-minute infusion treatment, and cis-platinum, a nine-hour procedure, the doctor said.

On Friday, the former New York Yankees star had a second cis-platinum treatment, which causes such unpleasant side effects as nausea, vomiting and weakness. Mantle wanted to remain in the hospital throughout the weekend to rest, but he likely will be released Tuesday, DeMarco said.

"He tolerated it less well this time," DeMarco said of the treatment. However, doctors were not characterizing the situation as a setback, he added.

"He (was) doing real well . . . when I saw him just a few hours ago," DeMarco said. "He may very well be going home (this) morning."

Mantle, who lives in Dallas, was discharged from the hospital June 28, nearly three weeks after receiving his new liver.

Mantle's doctors had said the Hall of Famer's prospects for recovery was good, despite signs his body had been slightly rejecting his transplanted liver.

Doctors said Mantle's original liver deteriorated because of years of alcohol abuse, a long-dormant hepatitis C infection and cancer.

Mantle replaced Joe DiMaggio as the Yankees' center fielder and became one of baseball's premier sluggers. He retired in 1968 with 536 home runs, which ranks eighth on the career list. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame five years later.

His career was sidetracked by many injuries. Doctors speculated Mantle contracted hepatitis from blood transfusions he received during operations he underwent while a player.