Gov. Tom Wolf
On Wednesday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he has been diagnosed with a treatable form of prostate cancer.
The Democrat governor, who was sworn into office in January 2015, said in a statement that the cancer was detected early, as a result of abnormalities seen in his regular medical checkups. He will receive treatment starting in the next few weeks, after taking some time to spend with his family, and will continue over the course of the coming months. In his statement, Wolf was adamant that his treatment is not expected to interfere with his official duties.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men, behind only skin cancer. Last year, it estimated that nearly a quarter of a million new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed. One in seven men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime, but only one in 38 men will die as a direct cause of it.
Despite its prevalence, prostate cancer is very treatable when detected early and “most men diagnosed…do not die from it,” according to the ACS. Collected data indicates that the five-year survival rate—the percentage of diagnosed patients who live five years beyond their diagnosis and received treatment—is “almost 100 percent,” with the 15-year relative-survival rate being 94 percent.
Wolf, who is 67, added, “I encourage everyone in Pennsylvania to make sure they schedule regular checkups with their doctors and be aware of screening guidelines so early detection and treatment can be possible.”