Johnson diagnosed with prostate cancer

Johnson diagnosed with prostate cancer 'I feel great and am meeting this head-on'

U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), 57, released the following statement Feb. 25 regarding his health:

"First off, I would like to report that I am feeling great. However, I have news to share that will impact my schedule over the coming weeks," the Vermillion native stated in a press release. "I have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer.�Thanks to wonderful doctors who have been monitoring me over the years, they believe they have caught this early and that a complete recovery is in my future.�

"I will undergo surgery on Wednesday, March 3 to have my prostate removed at the Bethesda Naval Hospital.� In consultation with my doctor, I am confident that aggressive treatment is the way to go. Following surgery, I will be in the hospital for a few days, but then should feel progressively better. I can expect a complete recovery six weeks after that.�

"My own father was diagnosed nearly 30 years ago in his 60's and today, is cancer-free. Education and early-diagnosis are crucial to beating this disease.�

"I feel both confident and upbeat about this. I am meeting this head-on.� I am thankful for the support of my family and my friends, especially my wife, Barbara.�Barb is a cancer survivor herself. She remains my greatest role model and strongest supporter.�

"My offices will remain open. I plan a quick and full recovery, and I look forward to continuing to work diligently on behalf of South Dakotans in the United States Senate."

Dr. John Eisold, the U.S. Capitol attending physician, said, "We were able to catch this at an early stage and anticipate Sen. Johnson will have a very successful recovery. Sen. Johnson will be down for a few days following the surgery, but we expect him to be on track soon after that. Sen. Johnson has proven that early detection is the best possible way to protect your health."

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2003 there would be 220,900 cases diagnosed.� There is a five year relative survival rate of 97 percent. While 1 man in 6 will get prostate cancer during his lifetime, only 1 man in 32 will die of this disease. The death rate for prostate cancer is going down. And the disease is being found earlier, as well.

For more information on prostate cancer, visit the American Cancer Society's Web site at www.cancer.org.

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