Writer Christopher Hitchens shocks with cancer announcement

British writer Christopher Hitchens announced plans to undergo chemotherapy to fight off cancer.

Hitchens said: “I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my esophagus. This advice seems persuasive to me.”

The polarizing but popular author and journalist announced this news on June 30, on the website for Vanity Fair, a publication to which he contributes.

Hitchens was supposed to make an appearance in Los Angeles on June 28, to support his recently released memoir, “Hitch 22.” He was scheduled to appear alongside actor and activist Sean Penn. The Jewish Journal highlighted the event as a “Pick of the Week” in the paper’s weekly calendar.

I’ve only recently been introduced to Hitchen’s writing. I’m currently in the middle of “Hitch 22,” in which Hitchens, despite his ostensibly tough demeanor and scathing criticisms of various political figures, really shows off a vulnerable side when writing about his family.

I was looking forward to seeing him speak and was disappointed when the Los Angeles event was suddenly cancelled for reasons that were mysterious to me until now.

For more on Hitchen’s illness and plans for chemotherapy, read the Yahoo! News story