One of the two U.S. senators representing Pennsylvania has cancer, the senator announced on Jan. 5.
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), the senior senator representing the state, said he was diagnosed before the New Year with prostate cancer.
“While this news came as a shock, I can report that I have an excellent prognosis, as well as the benefit of exceptional medical care and the unwavering support of my family,” Casey, 62, said in a statement.
“In the coming months I will undergo surgery, after which I am expected to make a full recovery. I am confident that my recommended course of treatment will allow me to continue my service in the 118th Congress with minimal disruption, and I look forward to the work ahead,” Casey added.
Casey and Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), who won a race for a seat left open by the retirement of former Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), represent Pennsylvania in the upper chamber.
Casey won reelection in 2018 with 55.7 percent of the vote. He has been in office since 2007.
The prostate is a gland in males that transports sperm.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer among men, followed by prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Prostate cancer is most common in men aged 65 to 74, followed by men aged 55 to 64, and is rare in men under 45. It is also more common in men with family members who have had it.
Approximately 224,700 prostate cancer cases were reported in 2019 in the United States, the last year for which statistics are available, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That same year, 31,636 males died from it.
The five-year age-adjusted survival rate is 96.8 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute. That rises to 100 percent if the cancer is localized, or at stage 1, or still at stage 2, and drops to 32.3 percent if it has spread widely.
“Because we have screening for prostate cancer, most of the time it is caught before it spreads to other parts of the body. Men who have prostate cancer that is characterized as localized or regional are not as likely to die as men whose cancer is distant,” the institute states. “In general prostate cancer has excellent survival rates, but death rates are higher in African American men, men who have advanced stage cancer, and men who are between the ages of 75 and 84.”
Fellow members of Congress and others wished Casey well after he revealed the diagnosis.
“I just heard the news about @SenBobCasey’s prostate cancer diagnosis. Please join me in sending thoughts and prayers to the Senator at this time,” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) wrote in a statement on social media.
“Wishing my friend and colleague @SenBobCasey a speedy recovery following his cancer diagnosis. Bob’s a fighter and I look forward to working with him as he beats this,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said.
“I am keeping @SenBobCasey in my prayers,” added state Sen. Tina Tartaglione. “He is the ultimate fighter and Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians are lucky to have him fighting for them in D.C.”