Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, it has been revealed.
A statement issued by his spokespeople said: “Andrew Lloyd Webber has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The condition is in its very early stages.
“Andrew is now undergoing treatment and expects to be fully back at work before the end of the year.”
Public relations firm Brown Lloyd James said they would not be releasing any further details.
Lord Lloyd-Webber (61) is best known for his musicals which include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Starlight Express and The Phantom of the Opera.
Earlier this month the theatre impresario launched the long-awaited sequel today to Phantom, Love Never Dies, at Her Majesty's Theatre in London.
Phantom, which has been seen by some 100m people worldwide, opened 23 years ago.
Prostate cancer affects around 35,000 men in the UK each year and kills just over 10,000. The disease is the most common cancer in British men, accounting for a quarter of all new cases.
The cancer mainly affects men over the age of 50, with symptoms which can include pain in the lower back, pelvis and hips.
It is understood Lord Lloyd-Webber was diagnosed with the cancer in the past few weeks and he has now been admitted to hospital for a few days for treatment.
Rehearsals for his new show Love Never Dies are due to begin in January.