California Gov. Jerry Brown is being treated with radiation for early-stage prostate cancer, his office announced today. The 74-year-old Brown is receiving a short course of conventional radiotherapy for "localized prostate cancer," the statement said. Brown's "prognosis is excellent, and there are not expected to be any significant side effects," said oncologist Eric Small of the University of California, San Francisco. The radiation treatment will be completed the week of Jan. 7, and Brown is expected to work a full schedule.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. More than 241,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in the United States this year. More than 90% are early stage, and nearly all men with such diagnoses survive at least five years. Localized prostate cancer means "the tumor is still contained within the prostate," said Dr. Mark Litwin, chairman of the UCLA Department of Urology, who is not involved in Brown's care. "Of course, that's what you want because you can treat it much more effectively."