Janet Napolitano battles cancer; treatment nearly complete

- President of the University of California Janet Napolitano is currently in the hospital after reportedly suffering a major medical emergency.

The 59-year-old has been undergoing cancer treatments over the past five months according to her office, which called the emergency "side effects" from her current treatment.

Sources told KTVU that Napolitano was rushed to Highland Hospital in Oakland in critical condition after staff members, who she was with, called 911 Monday afternoon just before 1:30. Napolitano lives in a luxury apartment building on Oakland's Lake Merritt.

Officials say Napolitano was later transported to UCSF where she is doing "extremely well."

Napolitano ran the U.S. Department of Homeland Security before leaving in 2013 to take over the 10-campus UC system, five medical centers, and three affiliated national laboratories.

Her office confirmed today that the one-time Arizona Governor has been fighting cancer since last August, but declined to state which kind of cancer Napolitano is battling.

"During the course of this treatment," read an office email, "President Napolitano has consistently performed her wide range of duties at full capacity, without interruption or impact. yesterday, however she experienced side effects that required her to be hospitalized. "

The Santa Clara graduate and self-described "single workaholic" was appointed to her current post by Governor Jerry Brown.

As President of University of California, Napolitano, she has handled such controversies as the UC Davis pepper spray incident, funding for UC's Lick Observatory, and student protests over proposed tuition hikes and salary increases for UC executives.

Napolitano underwent a mastectomy in 2000 after being diagnosed with cancer.

Today, her colleagues at UC Regents wished her a speedy recovery and said she's shown remarkable strength and resilience.

Doctors say Napolitano should be released in the next day or so and back to work soon.

Sources confirm to KTVU that President of University of California President Janet Napolitano fighting cancer at UCSF Medical Center. 

She will be released from the hospital in the next several days. 

Statement from the University of California Office of the President:

"UC President Janet Napolitano is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, which was diagnosed at the end of August of last year. The treatment is nearly complete. President Napolitano had a previous diagnosis of cancer that was successfully treated. She has kept the chair of the UC Board of Regents informed throughout the course of her current treatment.

During the course of this treatment, President Napolitano has consistently performed her wide range of duties at full capacity, without interruption or impact. 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."

At this point, additional details have not been released. 

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