Jan. 5—Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) was diagnosed with prostate cancer last month and says the prognosis is excellent with a full recovery after surgery, according to a statement released Thursday.
"Last month, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer," the senator said in the statement. "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."
The 62-year-old Scranton native was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and had previously served terms as Pennsylvania's treasurer and auditor general.
Prostate cancer is a cancer that occurs in the prostate — a walnut-size gland below the bladder that's part of the male reproductive system. It's among the most common types of cancer among men — one in eight will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.
Treatment varies, depending on the type of prostate cancer. Slow-growing forms may be monitored without significant health consequences for years. More aggressive forms that quickly spread beyond the prostate may require surgery, radiation, or other treatments. Prostate cancer is most effectively treated if identified early, before it has spread.
Casey is just one of several Pennsylvania politicians who have undergone prostate cancer treatment in recent years. In 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf announced he had a mild and treatable form of the disease. By the next year, the governor announced he had a "clean bill of health."
Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter revealed in 2021 that he had undergone surgery for prostate cancer the previous year. Nutter said that he had kept the diagnosis secret from his family for four years, and had since made a full recovery.
Sens. Michael Bennet (D., Colo.), Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), Thom Tillis (R., N.C.), Angus King (I., Maine), and Mitt Romney (R., Utah) have also undergone various treatments for prostate cancer.
A spokesperson for Casey said in an email that the senator's team expects he'll need a few weeks away from office for surgery and recovery. When Tillis underwent surgery to remove prostate cancer in 2021, he was reportedly back to work in "weeks."
In the meantime, Casey is talking to surgeons and will schedule the procedure once he chooses one, the spokesperson said.
While Casey said he expects only a minimal disruption to his service while he receives treatment, any absence could complicate matters for Senate Democrats, who hold a narrow 51-49 advantage in the chamber.
Casey — the first Democratic senator from Pennsylvania to win three terms — is also up for reelection in 2024, when the commonwealth is again expected to host a potentially competitive race. He has strongly indicated he plans to run again, though he hasn't officially announced a reelection campaign.
In the last congressional session, Casey served on four committees, including the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on Finance.
Politicians were quick to show their support for the senator after his announcement, including Casey's Democratic colleague Sen. John Fetterman and Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro.
"Senator @Bob_Casey is a fighter for all Pennsylvanians and I am proud to call him a dear friend," Shapiro said on Twitter. "Lori and I are thinking of Bob and Terese today and sending love and warmth. We look forward to celebrating the Senator's recovery and the work we'll do together in the coming years."
"Wishing Senator Casey well after his diagnosis," tweeted Fetterman, who suffered a stroke days before the May primary election. "He was there for me and I'll be right there for him during this. You got this, Senator!"
Staff writers Sarah Gantz, Wendy Ruderman, and Jonathan Tamari contributed to this article.
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