Sen. Thom Tillis undergoes surgery to treat prostate cancer

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN)– Sen. Thom Tills announced Thursday that he had surgery to treat prostate cancer.

“This week, I underwent surgery to treat prostate cancer. I’m thankful to the doctors and nurses who have provided me with outstanding care at every step of the way,” Tillis said in a statement.

The Republican senator said the cancer was detected “relatively early.”

Tillis said his prognosis is good because he had an annual physical and received a PSA test.

“As I recover over the coming days, I’m blessed to have Susan, my best friend and the love of my life, at my side. We are beyond grateful to everyone who has lifted us up in prayer and sent us well wishes. I look forward to returning to the Senate soon.”

Tillis returned to North Carolina to undergo the surgery. According to the Mayo Clinic, patients can normally resume their daily routine in four to six weeks.

Tillis turned 60 last August.

“Prostate cancer is quite common, and a certain number of men who are in their 50s will have an abnormal PSA test if they decide to have that test with their doctor. That will then lead them to go down the path of a biopsy,” said Dr. Ethan Basch, Chief of the Division of Oncology at UNC School of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital.

While he can’t comment on Tillis’s diagnosis, Basch did explain the typical next steps.

“Often in a biopsy, to look at the tissue itself, the prostate itself, is the next step. And then based upon that, a shared decision can be made about whether or not to have surgery, radiation, or continue to watch.”

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