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.