Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) anounced Monday that he is scheduled to have surgery next week in North Carolina to treat prostate cancer. He expects to make a full recovery.
“I am blessed that my cancer was detected relatively early, and I can’t emphasize enough how important routine screenings are, regardless of how healthy you think you are,” Tillis stated. “I had no symptoms and would have never imagined I had cancer. My prognosis is good because I went to my annual physical and received a PSA test, which led to a biopsy and eventually my diagnosis. Early detection can truly save lives.”
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, according to the American Cancer Society: only skin cancer is diagnosed more frequently.
About one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. It is also more likely to develop in older men and in non-Hispanic African-American men.
The American Cancer Society reports the average age of men at diagnosis is around 66 years.
Tillis is 60.
U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson also issued a statement on Monday.
"Renee and I are thankful Senator Tillis caught his cancer early and are praying for a quick and full recovery," said Rep. Hudson. "As a strong advocate for cancer screenings, I join with Sen. Tillis in encouraging everyone to follow cancer screening recommendations that help save lives every day."
The American Cancer Society recommends that men, starting at age 50, should talk to a health care provider about the pros and cons of testing so they can decide if prostate testing is the right choice for them. Those at higher risk, including African American men or if you have a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65, should talk with a health care provider starting at age 45.
An estimated 248,530 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2021, and approximately 34,130 individuals will die from the disease this year.
If you decide to be tested, you should get a PSA blood test with or without a rectal exam. How often you’re tested will depend on your PSA level.