WASHINGTON — One of North Carolina’s two U.S. Senators recently announced he’s going under the knife for cancer-related surgery.
Sen. Thom Tillis issued a statement Monday saying that he will have surgery next week for prostate cancer.
“I am in the hands of outstanding medical professionals and expect to make a full recovery,” Tillis said in a statement.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
According to the American Cancer Society, while some forms of prostate cancer can spread quickly, most grow slowly, citing autopsies that show “that many older men (and even some younger men) who died of other causes also had prostate cancer that never affected them during their lives. In many cases, neither they nor their doctors even knew they had it.”
The ACS estimates there will be 248,530 new cases of prostate cancer in the U.S. this year, resulting in more than 34,000 deaths.
One in eight men are likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, according to ACS.
Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in men — a one in 41 ratio — behind lung cancer. It is also the second most common type of cancer to affect men, with skin cancer being more common.
“Prostate cancer is more likely to develop in older men and in non-Hispanic Black men,” according to the ACS. “About 6 cases in 10 are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older, and it is rare in men under 40. The average age of men at diagnosis is about 66.”
Tillis turned 60 last August.
Tillis was elected to his second term in November. He was first elected to the Senate in 2014 after serving in the N.C. House of Representatives.
The senator announced Oct. 2 that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was cleared to end quarantine on Oct. 13.