Gov. Tom Wolf: “Pretty sure” he is cancer free

YORK, Pa. -- Governor Wolf is "pretty sure" upcoming tests will find him cancer free. Wolf has been getting treatments for prostate cancer the past three months. Wolf spoke with FOX43's Matt Maisel after an appearance at Ferguson K-8 Schools in York this morning.

"I'll go back for post-operative check-ups in a few months to make sure I'm cancer free but I am pretty sure I am," Wolf said.

Governor Wolf announced he was diagnosed with a minor form of treatable prostate cancer in February. The cancer was detected after a regular check-up with his physician in "late November, early December." Following a series of tests, the diagnosis was confirmed.

The early detection allowed the cancer to be fully treatable, Wolf said. Treatments began in June at a hospital in York. Doctors told Wolf chemotherapy was not required. Wolf underwent a radioactive seeds implant procedure, which is a form of radiation treatment. He says he had the procedure, which he called "non-invasive" and returned to work two days later.

"I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was because I caught it early," Wolf said. "I'm sure I'll be very happy with the results when I find out I'm cancer-free."

Prostate cancer affects one in every seven men, according to the American Cancer Society. As Wolf indicated, not many men die from it. The cancer society says the five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent, and the 15-year survival rate is 94 percent.

Sixty percent of prostate cancer cases are found in men 65 or older, which is why Gov. Wolf stressed the importance of regular visits to the doctor.

Dr. Scott Owens at Urology of Central Pennsylvania said prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer found in men. Detecting it early with regular trips to a physician, he says, will allow someone to fight the disease with an optimistic outlook.

"I think the governor is an example of that, who went through treatment of prostate cancer. He's functioning, productive. He's overcome the disease and that's encouraging for patients diagnosed," Dr. Owens said. "If you pick up the cancer in the early stages, like the governor, you then can have surgery or radiation."