Gov. Dayton reveals he has prostate cancer

Dayton revealed the diagnosis the day after fainting during his State of the State address.
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Gov. Mark Dayton has prostate cancer, but is committed to finishing his term as governor.

He had a biopsy last week and was diagnosed at the time, but said there's no evidence the cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland, Dayton told reporters Tuesday during a news conference to announce his two-year budget proposal.

The news comes hours after Dayton, who will be 70 on Thursday, fainted during Monday night's State of the State address.

"If I had known it would result in Republicans not criticizing my speech I would have tried it years ago," Dayton joked Tuesday. Dayton plans to go to the Mayo Clinic Tuesday afternoon to get checked out after he lost consciousness for a few seconds during his speech.

Dayton did reiterate he's up to finishing his term as governor (it ends in less than two years), despite fainting and his cancer diagnosis, telling reporters there "are no brain cells in my prostate."

Dayton said the annual prostate PSA test he had during a physical two weeks ago saved his life. The test showed his PSA levels were high, so last week he had a biopsy that confirmed he had prostate cancer.

He'll go to the Mayo Clinic again next week to determine the course of treatment, which could include surgery or radiation.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer for men, the Mayo Clinic says. How serious it is can vary – some grow slowly and stay part of the prostate gland, and don't cause much harm; others can grow aggressively and spread quickly.

When it's detected early, the cancer is more treatable.

Type of treatment depends on if the cancer has spread, how early on it's detected, and how aggressive it is, the Mayo Clinic says. Some men might get active surveillance – frequent monitoring and tests to check the progress – and no immediate treatment. But radiation or hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and a prostate freezing technique are also options if the cancer is more serious. Surgery to remove the prostate is also a possibility.

The American Cancer Society says there are expected to be about 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer in the U.S. this year – resulting in about 26,730 deaths. About one in every seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, the group says. It generally develops in older men.

Reaction to Dayton's diagnosis

Bob Hume, Dayton's senior advisor, tweeted this after the announcement.

Others have also weighed in:

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