Sen. Tillis to undergo surgery next week following prostate cancer diagnosis

North Carolina Republican finds out after routine screening

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., arrives for the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in Hart Building on Feb. 2, 2021.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., arrives for the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in Hart Building on Feb. 2, 2021. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted March 29, 2021 at 11:31am

Sen. Thom Tillis has prostate cancer and will undergo surgery next week, he announced in a statement Monday.

The North Carolina Republican, 60, said he was screened at his annual physical and encouraged routine preventative care.

“I am blessed that my cancer was detected relatively early, and I can’t emphasize enough how important routine screenings are, regardless of how healthy you think you are. I had no symptoms and would have never imagined I had cancer. My prognosis is good because I went to my annual physical and received a PSA test, which led to a biopsy and eventually my diagnosis. Early detection can truly save lives,” Tillis said in a statement Monday.

The second-term senator said he expects to make a full recovery.

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among U.S. men, outside of skin cancer. About one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about one in 41 men will die from it.

Tillis had foot surgery earlier this year, which required him to use a scooter to navigate Capitol Hill. In October, he had COVID-19. Back in May 2017, he sent a scare into the Capitol community when he collapsed during the annual ACLI Capital Challenge three-mile race at Anacostia Park. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance from the race but was back at the Capitol later that day.

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