District 12 Congressman John Barrow announced Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer, a condition that will affect one in six men during the course of their lifetime.
Now in his fourth term, Barrow has represented Bulloch County since he was elected in 2004. A Democrat, he defeated Republican Ray McKinney in November. Barrow, 55, will undergo radiation therapy to treat the condition, and his doctors expect a full recovery, according to his staff. The disease was discovered during a routine screening as part of Barrow’s annual physical exam.
Barrow's spokesman, Christopher Cashman, said the congressman was in a committee hearing Tuesday afternoon and doesn't plan to let the disease slow him down.
“Cancer is something you never want to hear your doctor say,” Barrow said. “But I’m very lucky to be living in an age of early detection and effective treatments. The good news is that the doctors expect a full recovery, and the therapy will not affect my ability to work.”
Barrow is under the care of Dr. Donald Bridges of Rockville, Md. The radiation therapy will begin in late-July and extend into the August Congressional recess, which allows Barrow not to miss any votes.
According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 99 percent of those diagnosed with prostate cancer have a five-year relative survival rate.
“Figures like this give everyone with prostate cancer good reason for hope,” Barrow said. “One reason why this number is so high is because more and more men are getting regular prostate screenings. Early detection is the key to beating this disease. Routine prostate screening probably saved my life, and it could save yours.”
Barrow is serving his fourth term representing eastern Georgia's 12th District, which includes Statesboro and much of Savannah, Augusta and Milledgeville.