HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday he was recently diagnosed with a mild form of prostate cancer and will be treated in the coming weeks.
Wolf, 67, said the cancer was detected several months ago during a routine checkup and then confirmed about two weeks ago through follow-up tests.
He declined to specify what his treatment will be, but he said it was minor and won’t involve chemotherapy.
“What I’m going through is treatable and will actually not … interfere with my duties as governor,” he said.
He said he should not need to turn over authority to the lieutenant governor.
When Wolf’s predecessor, Republican Tom Corbett, underwent back surgery in 2011, then-Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley served for a few hours as acting governor. Cawley also took the state’s reins for about 90 minutes in February 2014, when Corbett had hernia surgery.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. In the United States alone, there were an estimated 220,000 new cases and 27,500 deaths from the disease last year.
Radiation or surgery to remove the prostate is a common treatment when the disease is confined to the gland. Most cases involve slow-growing tumors that carry a very low risk of morphing into the kind that can kill.
First lady Frances Wolf, who joined the governor at the news conference, said she believed the treatment will deal effectively with the cancer.
“We don’t have to be sad about this,” she said.
The American Cancer Society says there are about 2.9 million living American men who at some point have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It’s rarely diagnosed before age 40.
Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in American men, second to lung cancer, and is blamed for about one in every 38 male deaths. The society says prostate cancer’s 15-year relative survival rate is 94 percent.