Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton revealed Tuesday that he has prostate cancer. The announcement came less than 24 hours after Dayton collapsed during his State of the State address Monday night.
Dayton broke the news just two days before his 70th birthday and it caught many off guard. The governor has overcome medical issues in the past, including hip and spinal surgeries, and now has to deal with this challenge.
Dayton's term as governor runs through 2019 and he believes this won't impact his ability to run the state of Minnesota. Doctors agree, as long the prostate cancer is not in an advanced form.
"If prostate cancer is a stable situation and you're at a point where you're not having any side effects from any procedure or radiation, or chemotherapy regimens," said Dr. Bryan Nelson from the HCMC Clinic in Golden Valley. "The far majority of individuals are able to do normal job functions, work functions, activity of daily living type functions."
It appeared to be business as usual for Governor Dayton Monday night at the capitol in St. Paul, as he prepared for his State of the State. But Dayton did stumble approaching the podium, which was a precursor to what would eventually happen because 40 minutes into his speech, Dayton suddenly collapsed.
There are five levels of prostate cancer, and we don't know what level Dayton has. In advanced stages the cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation or a chemo-like regimen.
"Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer for males overall," Dr. Nelson said. "Over the age of 65 it is a fairly common cancer. Lifetime risk for guys overall is about one out of nine chances of developing prostate cancer over a lifetime."
Dr. Nelson says it is rare to have fainting episodes related to prostate cancer, but recent treatments could cause side affects such as fainting.
Eric Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org