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ONE LUNG

Updated at: 03/13/2013 5:09 PM
By The Associated Press

Doctors are buzzing about the new pope having just one lung. He had one removed due to an infection as a teenager.

"It could be simply an infection that couldn’t be cleared with antibiotics," or even tuberculosis, says Dr. Joe B. Putnam, chairman of thoracic surgery at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

"The key thing is he had it as a child and has probably taken very good care of himself. My hunch is that he’s a lifelong nonsmoker," Putnam says. "He looked great" in the public appearance today, he added. "I don’t think he’s going to slow down at all."

The late actor John Wayne had a lung removed for cancer, Putnam notes: "He made seven more movies after that, including `True Grit,’ for which he won an Oscar."

_ Marilynn Marchione, AP Chief Medical Writer _ Twitter http://twitter.com/MmarchioneAP

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"Pope Live" follows the choice of the new pope as seen by journalists from The Associated Press around the world. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest. Follow AP reporters on Twitter where available.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)