Governor has prostate surgery |

Governor has prostate surgery

Gov. Kenny Guinn is recovering at UCLA Medical Center after undergoing surgery Monday to remove his prostate gland.

Guinn, 66, announced he had the disease in July after a regular test found elevated prostate- specific antigen levels in his blood.

A biopsy confirmed he had the beginnings of cancer developing. He said at the time that early detection gave him several options including chemical and radiation treatment, but he and his wife decided to schedule surgery.

“The patient is going very well,” said Dr. Ikram Kahn, his Las Vegas physician. “He’s wide awake, cracking his jokes.”

Kahn said Guinn would remain at the medical center from three to five days, depending on how quickly he recovers.

“It all depends on how he’s feeling,” he said. “We don’t want to rush him into doing things just because he’s governor. He should be just like any other patient.”

Prostate cancer, with 200,000 new cases diagnosed per year, is second to lung cancer as a cancer killer of men.

Kahn said the prostatectomy took about 90 minutes. Guinn said he chose Dr. Jean B. deKernion, chairman of the UCLA Department of Urology, to perform the procedure based on recommendations by his Las Vegas physicians. DeKernion is a pioneer in prostate cancer surgery and treatment who was appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Cancer Advisory Board in August.

Kahn said the surgery removes the entire prostate gland: “There is no partial option. It’s a radical prostatectomy, that’s what he had.”

Guinn, a Republican running for a second term against Democrat Joe Neal, will return to his home in Las Vegas once he has recovered to the satisfaction of doctors at UCLA.

Guinn’s predecessor Bob Miller also was diagnosed with prostate cancer during his final term in office and underwent surgery. He has since said the surgery was completely successful in eradicating the disease.

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