Cardinal George may leave hospital this week

CHICAGO — Cardinal Francis George, who informed parishioners earlier this month that his cancer had returned, may be released from the hospital soon after being admitted last week for treatment of dehydration and flu-like symptoms, the Archdiocese of Chicago said Tuesday.

George's flu symptoms started earlier last week while he was keeping to his regular schedule. He'd gone to the hospital Friday for a scheduled check on his chemotherapy treatment, and doctors decided to keep him there. He's being treated at Loyola University Medical Center in suburban Maywood, where he's receiving an antibiotic and intravenous fluids.

"Cardinal George is expected to be released from the hospital later this week," Archdiocese spokeswoman Susan Burritt said in a statement released Tuesday morning. "He asks that people continue to pray for him, as he continues to keep people in his prayers."

The 77-year-old, the spiritual leader of the archdiocese's more than 2 million Roman Catholics, recently started another round of chemotherapy to address signs of cancer returning to the area around his right kidney.

He survived bladder cancer eight years ago and was diagnosed with urothelial cancer in August 2012. Chemotherapy then appeared to work and the cancer was dormant for more than a year.