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Outlook good for Stroger after prostate surgery, his doctor says

Thursday, June 21, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is home, "doing great," and "everything is on track" for "a very complete and full recovery" from prostate surgery, his urologist said Wednesday.
Stroger has been battling cancer for 10 months and had his prostate gland removed Monday.
But that cancer, Dr. William Catalona said, "did not appear to be a scary type of prostate cancer"; it "had very favorable features."
Those close to Stroger said the cancer was on a small portion of his prostate, but given that the cancer kills more black men than anyone else and his father's own diagnosis of prostate cancer, Stroger decided on the surgery after months of consultation with his family and doctors.
That kind of wait is not unusual, Catalona said.
"It often takes [men] a while to educate themselves and their family," he said in a press conference outside Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where Stroger was treated.
Catalona called Stroger "a great example" of someone who got regular checkups and tests, allowing for early detection and a greater likelihood of successful recovery.
Catalona said the surgery was an open procedure through the abdomen, which "gives the best results of a complete recovery for patients of all functions."
Though final pathology results are not back yet, he said a biopsy "was very favorable." Some prostate cancers "are very high-volume" and appear "very aggressive," but Stroger's "was not that way," he said.
Though the Stroger family asked for privacy as the ordeal began earlier this week, the secrecy is expected to lift.
"He and his wife [Jeanine] just sort of wanted to get it done, taken care of and not have to deal with the media circus," Catalona said to a throng of reporters.
But the way the Stroger administration handled the matter -- offering only that it was a "routine" surgery -- created a greater media fire storm.
Stroger, who still has not spoken publicly about it, now plans to embark upon what was a very private subject for him and make it a very public fight, campaigning for greater awareness of regular prostate checks for men over 40.
"It's really important for somebody in the public eye to come out and support prostate cancer detection," Catalona said.


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