Gov. Tom Wolf Has Prostate Cancer; Treatment Starts Soon

“Those treatments will last the next several months, but they will present no impairment to my ability to perform my duties as governor.”

Tom Wolf - cancer diagnosis press conference

Tom Wolf speaks at the press conference about his cancer diagnosis this morning.

Gov. Tom Wolf has prostate cancer, he announced today.

It was caught early, Wolf said at a press conference, and is not expected to interfere at all with his duties as governor. In the coming weeks, he will undergo treatment. He said that, because he caught it early, his prognosis is excellent.

“I’m convinced it’s eminently treatable,” Wolf said. “I feel great. It was detected very early, so the procedure is going to be a truly minor one.” Wolf said he won’t undergo chemotherapy.

The treatments for his cancer will not require him to hand over power to Lt. Gov. Mike Stack. He said he’ll undergo his treatment in the York area, where he’s from, and will take a short vacation at some point with his family before treatment starts. “I haven’t had a vacation yet as governor,” Wolf said.

His wife, Frances Wolf, sat next to him at his statement today.

“I was sad for Tom having to go through the process,” she said. “The doctors are more than encouraging. They know how to get their arms around it, they know how to do it, what to do… we don’t need to be sad about this. There’s every reason to believe and to know that this will be dealt with quite efficiently and effectively by these physicians.”

Wolf said he detected the cancer at a routine checkup sometime in late November or early December. He said one of the reasons he wanted to make this announcement was to tell people about the importance of regular medical checkups.

“Whoever you are, whatever the problem is: Regular medical checkups really do matter,” Wolf said.

Earlier in the day, his office released a statement from the governor:

“Frances and I recently learned I have prostate cancer that was thankfully detected early. My doctors made the diagnosis after a regular checkup revealed abnormalities. In consultation with my doctors, I have a planned treatment schedule that will begin in the coming weeks. Those treatments will last the next several months, but they will present no impairment to my ability to perform my duties as governor. Prior to beginning treatment, I will take a brief time to spend with my family. I am very thankful that my doctors caught this cancer quickly and have worked with me to plan a treatment schedule that will address my medical issues and allow me to serve the people of Pennsylvania. I encourage everyone in Pennsylvania to make sure they schedule regular checkups with their doctors and be aware of screening guidelines so early detection and treatment can be possible.”

Wolf, a democrat, was elected in 2014 and is his first term. He defeated the incumbent governor, Tom Corbett, 55 percent to 45 percent.