U.S. Rep. John Barrow (D-Savannah) announced Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer, a condition that will affect one in six men during the course of their lifetime. Barrow will undergo radiation therapy to treat the condition, and his doctors expect a full recovery. The disease was discovered during a routine screening as part of Barrow’s annual physical exam.
“Cancer is something you never want to hear your doctor say,” Barrow said. “But I’m very lucky to be living in an age of early detection and effective treatments. The good news is that the doctors expect a full recovery, and the therapy will not affect my ability to work.”
Barrow is under the care of Dr. Donald Bridges of Rockville, Md. The radiation therapy will begin in late-July and extend into the August Congressional recess, which will prevent Barrow from missing any votes.
According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 99 percent of those diagnosed with prostate cancer have a five-year relative survival rate.
“Figures like this give everyone with prostate cancer good reason for hope,” Barrow said. “One reason why this number is so high is because more and more men are getting regular prostate screenings. Early detection is the key to beating this disease. Routine prostate screening probably saved my life, and it could save yours.”
The Mayo Clinic advises that there are a number of lifestyle choices that can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer, such as: eating moderate-sized portions at every meal; eating food low in saturated fats; maintaining a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grain; drinking alcohol in moderation; getting the FDA daily recommendation of vitamin D; and regularly engaging in moderate exercise.
Facts about prostate cancer:
Over the course of a lifetime, men have a 1 in 6 chance of developing prostate cancer (American Cancer Society).
From 1999-2005, the 5 year relative survival percentage of prostate cancer was 99 percent (American Cancer Society).
In 2010, there were 217,230 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States, 6,380 in the state of Georgia (American Cancer Society).
In 2008, there were approximately 2,355,264 men alive in the United States who had a history of cancer of the prostate (National Cancer Institute).