SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Governor Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer


November 04, 2016
Friday PM

(SitNews) Anchorage, Alaska - Governor Bill Walker announced Friday he has been diagnosed with a treatable form of prostate cancer and will have surgery in December.

Walker said, "This diagnosis has not and will not impair my ability to perform my duties as governor. I want to emphasize that I had no symptoms, and it was only through a regular checkup that this diagnosis was made."

Standing with family and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott, Governor Walker makes a statement on his recent cancer diagnosis during a press conference Friday.
Photo courtesy Office of the Governor Press Conference Video

In a prepared statement the Governor said, “Donna and I recently learned that I have prostate cancer. As my doctor has advised, I will have surgery in December to remove the cancer. It is anticipated I will need no further treatment post-surgery."

The Governor urged all Alaskans to make sure they schedule regular checkups so that early detection and treatment of health issues are possible.

According to the American Cancer Association, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men (after skin cancer), but it can often be treated successfully. More than 2 million men in the U.S. count themselves as prostate cancer survivors.

“While news of cancer is always troubling, I am glad that Governor Walker's doctors caught his illness early, when it is treatable, and that he chose to share what he faces with the people of Alaska," said U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in a prepared statement. "My thoughts are with Bill, Donna, and their family as they walk through this challenge together. This reminds all of us of the importance of routine screenings and wellness exams. Verne and I will be praying for Bill's swift and full recovery.”

U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) also commented on the Governor's announcement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Governor Bill Walker and his family during this difficult time. Governor Walker has long been a fighter, and I’m sure he will bring the same unwavering spirit to this battle and will have a speedy recovery. I appreciate that the governor brought this issue to the attention of Alaskans."

Sullivan said, " We should all heed his advice and take the time to have regular check-ups.”

Alaska Senate President Kevin Meyer said, "I am glad it was caught early and can be treated with surgery." "My thoughts and prayers are with Governor Walker, Donna, and the entire Walker family for a successful surgery and quick recuperation."

"We encourage men to see a doctor regularly in order to catch potential health problems in their early stages," Sen. Meyer said in his prepared statement.

House Speaker Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) also released a statement regarding the Governor's health announcement today. “It’s not easy for an individual or a family to accept a diagnosis such as this.”

Chenault (R-Nikiski) said. “The thoughts and prayers from my family, my colleagues and Alaskans all over the state are with the Governor and his family right now. We wish him the best during his treatment and hope for a speedy recovery.”


On the Web:

American Cancer Association: Prostate Cancer


Reporting & Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Office of Gov. Bill Walker

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski

U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan

Alaska Senate President Kevin Meyer

House Speaker Mike Chenault



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