Florida Senator Bill Nelson’s cancer diagnosis has been caught early. The Democratic leader of the Sunshine State is set to undergo prostate cancer surgery on Monday.
The Senator’s diagnosis was discovered in its early stages during a routine medical examination. At the age of 72, Nelson is lucky to have caught it at this stage.
Prostate cancer is a relatively common ailment, but it’s best caught as early as possible. Normally showing up after the age of 40, it can be treated in one of three ways, or any combination of the three. Surgery can remove the tumor before it spreads and is ideal. Radiation is most necessary in advanced stages. Chemotherapy can be fatal by itself, due to its tendency to attack bone marrow and blood production, but if the cancer is widespread, it may be worth the risk.
Bill Nelson’s cancer was luckily caught early enough to give the Florida Senator hope. He still plans to run for re-election in 2018, according to NewsMax.
“I’ve been blessed with good health, which has allowed me the great privilege of public service, and I look forward to continuing serving our country and Florida.”
Oncologist Dr. Scot Ackerman described the process that Senator Nelson will be undergoing, and he issues advice to anyone at risk.
“The other two treatments for prostate cancer are surgery and radiation. So surgery, which is what Sen. Nelson is going to have, is where we remove the prostate quickly. That’s done and men who have a small tumor that’s localized prostate where we feel the risk of tumor outside the prostate is significantly low.
“A man’s risk of prostate cancer increases with age. We rarely see it in men under the age of 40. But once men get into their 40s and 50s they should start being aware of prostate cancer. It’s very important for men to have a meaningful discussion with their physician about prostate cancer and their screening and what their risk is for prostate cancer.”
Bill Nelson’s cancer diagnosis was caught at a very opportune time, giving the Florida Senator a chance to extend his career with another six-year term.
[Image via Joe Raedle / Getty Images]