On Saturday, the office of California Governor Jerry Brown announced he would once again undergo treatment for prostate cancer.
“Fortunately, this is not extensive disease,” Brown’s oncologist, Dr. Eric Small of the University of California, San Francisco said in a press release from the governor’s office. "The prognosis for Governor Brown is excellent."
Small explained Brown will be treated with a short course of radiation and added that the governor, even at 78, is not expected to experience any significant side effects from the treatment.
Radiation treatment for prostate cancer is standard when the cancer is isolated, as it is in Brown’s case, to the prostate and there is no evidence it has spread beyond it. Radiation treatment for the prostate can be applied two different ways — either externally, through beams directed at the cancerous area, or internally, through radioactive seeds the size of a rice grain that are implanted in the prostate. There was no disclosure regarding the type of radiation therapy Brown will receive.
In 2011, Governor Brown underwent minor surgery to remove basal cell carcinoma, a common and slow-growing form of skin cancer, from the right side of his nose. Then in 2012, the governor was treated for early stage prostate cancer—he worked throughout the treatment and is expected to do so through this treatment course as well.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the survival outlook for men with prostate cancer varies by the stage (extent) of the cancer—in general, the survival rates are higher for men with earlier stage cancers. But many other factors can affect a man’s outlook, such as age and overall health, and how well the cancer responds to treatment. The outlook for each man is specific to his circumstances.
The most recent data available through ACS showed when all stages of prostate cancer are considered, the 5-year relative survival rate is almost 100 percent; the 10-year relative survival rate is 98 percent; and the 15-year relative survival rate is 95 percent. For additional information regarding prostate cancer visit www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging.html.