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Gov. Jerry Brown Undergoing Treatment for Cancer

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The Governor's office announced that Brown is undergoing treatment for localized prostate cancer. In a statement, Doctor Eric Small, an oncologist at the University of California San Francisco, said the cancer is at an early-stage and will be treated with a short course of conventional radiotherapy.
Small said the prognosis is excellent and that the Governor is not expected to have any significant side effects. Brown is continuing to work a full schedule during the treatment, which is expected to end the week of January 7th
Last year, the Governor was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer. The cancerous growth was removed from the right side of his nose. 
A cancer expert says it's fortunate that Brown's prostate cancer was detected early because that's key to successful treatment.

Dr. Ralph Devere White, director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, said the survival rate in cases where the cancer is confined to the prostate is 97 percent.

"Prostate cancer - when it spreads - goes either to the lymph nodes in your pelvis or into the bone, which is the classic way that metastatic prostate cancer-that's prostate cancer that spreads- shows up.  And that's what we want to avoid by finding it early and treating it early," White said.

White says the governor's choice of external radiation is the least invasive of the three primary treatments.  Other options are surgery to remove the cancer or to put radioactive seeds inside the prostate.

White says up to 65 percent of men in their 70's have prostate cancer. But, because of early detection, the number of deaths from prostate cancer in the U.S. has dropped by about a third since the 1990's. 

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