Mayor Marion Barry has prostate cancer and is deciding whether to fight it with radiation or surgery. Either way, the mayor said he was confident of a speedy recovery.
Barry, 59, said Wednesday the cancer was diagnosed during his annual physical exam Oct. 13 at George Washington University Hospital. He said he would decide on a treatment after more tests next week.
“It will not impair his ability to perform his job and functions as the mayor,” said Dr. Albert Goldson of Howard University Hospital, one of the mayor’s doctors and a specialist in prostate cancer.
“The good news is, I’m looking for a speedy recovery,” a robust-looking Barry said at a news conference, accompanied by his wife, Cora, his mother, Mattie Cummings, and his minister, the Rev. Willie Wilson.
“I feel great. In fact, I look good, too,” Barry said, drawing a laugh.
The mayor said he was disclosing the cancer because he wanted to squelch rumors about his health and encourage men to have regular checkups.
“I’m confident that whatever treatment we choose, be it radiology or surgery, that I will have a total and speedy recovery,” he said.
After the mayor’s announcement, Howard University’s Cancer Center announced it would offer free prostate cancer screening next month to Washington residents.
According to the American Cancer Society, 244,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.