Johnson receives good results post-surgery

Johnson receives good results post-surgery U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), 57, has announced that he received an "all-clear" from his doctors in regards to his recent diagnosis of prostate cancer.� Johnson underwent surgery to remove his prostate gland on March 3 at the Bethesda Naval Hospital outside of Washington, DC.��

"I am pleased that the pathology report indicates that the cancer had not spread beyond the prostate. The relatively small amount of cancer found within the prostate confirms our earlier belief that annual testing allowed us to detect the cancer at a very early stage. The annual PSA (prostate-specific antigen) exam is as quick and painless as it was critical to saving my life," Johnson said.

Johnson was recuperating at home last week, but expected to be in the office for a light schedule as early as Monday, March 15.��

The only follow up expected from this point will be frequent PSA tests to make sure the cancer has not returned.

"We couldn't keep him away.� Tim started receiving work at home early this week. He has been keeping the staff busy and is anxious to get back to work," said Julianne Fisher, Johnson's communications director. All of Johnson's offices remain open for business.

The surgery last week took roughly four-and-a-half hours and was performed by Dr. Steven Ochs, a urologist at the Bethesda Naval Hospital.�Dr. John Eisold, the U.S. Capitol attending physician, said, "Senator Johnson has proven that early detection is the best possible way to protect your health."

Johnson has been encouraging men to go to their doctors for an annual physical and prostate cancer exam. An annual PSA exam is suggested for men age 50 and older. Men with a family history of prostate cancer should start getting the annual exam from the age of 40.�

Johnson's father was diagnosed with prostate cancer nearly 30 years ago and just turned 90 this year.�

"Barb has been wonderfully supportive throughout this," Johnson said. "I'm feeling better every day. I'm stronger because of everyone's great support."

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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