Buffett Skips Conference, Curbing Travel After Treatment

Warren Buffett, the billionaire chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., withdrew from a scheduled appearance at the annual Fortune magazine Most Powerful Women conference as he recovers from treatment for prostate cancer.

“Mr. Buffett has been undergoing radiation treatment and he just finished,” Debbie Bosanek, his assistant at Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire, said in an e-mail today. “His doctors advised him to avoid travel for at least three to four weeks after the treatments.”

Buffett, 82, told newspaper executives at Berkshire’s Omaha World-Herald Sept. 14 that he had completed radiation treatment for prostate cancer and that he would be feeling side effects for a few weeks. The billionaire said in April that he was diagnosed with stage 1 prostate cancer and that he would undergo two months of radiation treatment starting in July. The diagnosis was the least severe of four stages of the disease, which affects 1 in 8 men over 70.

The Fortune conference is scheduled for Oct. 1 through Oct. 3 in Laguna Niguel, California, and features speakers including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair and Sallie Krawcheck, the former president of global wealth and investment management at Bank of America Corp.

Buffett’s name previously appeared on the agenda. He had attended the conference for at least the past three years.

Prostate cancer patients generally suffer from side effects, including urinary and bowel symptoms, after radiation that may make it difficult to travel, said Sean Collins, a radiation oncologist at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, who isn’t involved in Buffett’s care. The symptoms typically improve two to eight weeks after treatment, he said in an e-mail.

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