Gov. Wolf announces he has treatable form of prostate cancer

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Smiling, laughing, and saying he felt great, Governor Tom Wolf announced Wednesday he has been diagnosed with a minor form of treatable prostate cancer.

Wolf, joined at his side by wife Frances at a Capitol news conference, said the cancer was detected after a regular check-up with his physician in "late November, early December." Following a series of tests, Wolf indicated he learned of the diagnosis two weeks ago.

The early detection allows the cancer to be fully treatable, he said. Treatments will begin at a hospital in York in a few weeks, and will last up to a few months. He said chemotherapy will not be needed.

"This will not impair my abilities to do my duties as governor," he said of handing over any duties to Lt. Governor Mike Stack.

Despite the diagnosis, Wolf's spirits were high at the news conference. When asked about prostate cancer, the 67-year-old governor poked fun at his situation.

"Prostate cancer is something that older men get," he said, pausing to look over at his wife when he mentioned his age. He rolled his eyes, leading to laughter among he and the reporters.

"A lot of older men die with prostate cancer," he continued. "Not a lot of die of it."

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.

"The importance of regular check-ups so you can detect things like this, whoever you are and whatever the problem is, regular medical checkups really do matter," he said.


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