PA Sen Bob Casey says prostate cancer diagnosis won’t interfere with duties

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey Jr. (D) announced on Thursday that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, but said that his treatment will not interfere with his duties in the Senate.

Casey said,

Last month, I was diagnosed 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. 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.

Fellow Democratic Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman tweeted a note of support for Casey, noting that Casey was there for him following a stroke that left him unable to speak clearly or coherently in some cases.

Tough fight

Casey, 62, is expected to run for a fourth Senate term in 2024. Casey could face a tough fight in the state, which has long been a swing state like Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Republicans are hoping to pick up enough seats to regain a majority in that election, since Democrats will be defending 23 seats and Republicans only 10.

Also on Thursday, four-term Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) announced that she will retire from the Senate at the end of her term and not seek re-election in 2024.

The vacancy will give Republicans a better opportunity for a pickup in the state.

A common disease

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer for men, but it is usually not fatal. The survival rate is usually higher when the cancer is caught early.

Cancer of the prostate is the second leading cause of death for men in America, however, with 34,500 deaths in 2022.

Several other lawmakers and Pennsylvania state officials have had the cancer, which strikes around 250,000 men each year, usually in their 60s or older.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016, and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D) had surgery in 2021 for the disease. In the Senate, Michael Bennet (D-CO), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Angus King (I-ME), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) have all had prostate cancer.

Screening recommended for some

Men can be screened for the cancer if they have a family history or are Black, since Black men have a higher instance of deadly forms of prostate cancer.

In some cases, the cancer is so slow-growing that it will not cause symptoms or shorten the life span, therefore it does not require treatment.

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