Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent a prostatectomy late last month, Fox News has learned.

Austin was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Dec. 22, 2023, and underwent a minimally invasive surgical procedure called a prostatectomy to treat and cure prostate cancer.

Austin was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Jan. 1, 2024, due to a urinary tract infection after the procedure, including nausea with severe abdominal, hip and leg pain.


Per Walter Reed, Austin recovered uneventfully from his surgery and he was returned the following morning. His prostate cancer was detected early and the prognosis is “excellent,” the hospital said.

The scandal triggered the White House to do a Cabinet-wide review of protocols for delegating authority in the administration.

Additionally, Fox News’ Chad Pergram reported that Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks remained unaware of the medical procedure until as recently as today.

Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder held a press conference on Tuesday about Austin’s unannounced hospital visit.

Ryder said that “nothing is more important to the secretary of defense and the Department of Defense than the trust and confidence of the American people and the public,” and he was asked why Austin was reluctant to announce his medical condition.

The DOD spokesperson said the department “staff has been in contact with the secretary” and that “he’s in regular communication with his chief of staff.”

“As for his travel schedule, of course, I don’t have anything to announce,” Ryder said. “I can tell you that he is actively engaged in his duties, as I highlighted, and fully engaged.”

Ryder was pressed on Austin’s reluctance to announce his condition. The general said he didn’t have anything from Austin about his reluctance but said “prostate cancer and the associated procedures are obviously deeply personal.”

The general was also asked why Austin’s personal security team did not make a call to raise awareness of the situation, which the press secretary called a “fair question.”

“For the sake of not doing the review here from the podium, as I highlighted, the director of administration and management has been directed to lead a thorough review to look at exactly those kinds of questions, the relevant facts and circumstances during the period in question to evaluate the processes and procedures by which the deputy secretary of defense was notified and the associated timeline.”

“So, again, we’ll commit to being as transparent as we can in terms of the results of that review,” Ryder added.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.