Iowa’s attorney general treated for prostate cancer

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller underwent surgery this morning for prostate cancer; his surgeon expects a "full recovery."  Miller, who is 64 years old, served as Iowa's Attorney General from 1979 to 1991, then from 1995 to the present.  (Explaining the four year gap:  Miller ran for governor in 1990, lost in a primary and worked in private practice for four years.)  His office released a statement moments ago.

Statement by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.  3/11/09 10:00AM

            Attorney General Tom Miller underwent successful surgery today for an early stage of prostate cancer today at Iowa Methodist Hospital.

            Dr. Steven Rosenberg, who performed the surgery, has told Miller that his cancer was discovered at a very early stage and that he expects Miller to have a full recovery.

            Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in American men, other than skin cancers.  It is estimated that 186,320 new cases were diagnosed in 2008, accounting for 25% of all cancers in males. 

            Miller has been told by his doctors that prostate cancer is one of the most treatable cancers when it is discovered early.  “I was lucky to have found this early, while it can be readily treated,” he said. 

            Miller urged Iowans to talk with their physicians about testing for prostate cancer.   “Since there are no warning signs of early prostate cancer, it is important for men to talk with their physicians to make sure appropriate testing is part of their annual physical.” 

            It is generally recommended that “PSA” blood tests and digital exams should be done every year for men beginning at age 50, and earlier for African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer.  The tests are not definitive but will tell doctors whether a biopsy is needed to positively identify the presence of cancer.  While very treatable when it is detected early, later-stage prostate cancer can be difficult to treat. 

            Miller’s office said the Attorney General expects to spend several weeks in recovery before returning to his normal schedule.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.