Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley has prostate cancer.
And the 56-year-old told Newsmax in an exclusive interview that he’s scheduled to undergo surgery Friday in a Florida hospital.
“I learned five weeks ago after a routine exam that I have prostate cancer,” Foley said. “The surgery involves complete removal of the prostate.
“Naturally, I have some reservations about the surgery. Nobody wants their plumbing messed with. But I mostly feel good about it.”
The surgery could slow him down for a few weeks but his chances to beat the cancer are excellent. He said no radiation treatment is planned.
“My doctor’s telling me that the cancer is likely confined to the gland and hasn’t spread,” Foley said.
A popular politician in the area around Palm Beach, Fla., Republican Foley made national news in September 2006 when he unexpectedly resigned his seat after five terms.
His resignation came as his sexually-explicit text messages to young male congressional pages were made public.
The seat is now occupied by rising GOP star Tom Rooney.
Foley, meanwhile, has been rehabbing his image for the past three years, in part with a weekly political radio talk show. He has become a successful businessman with interests in real estate and banking, and even bought a consignment store. Foley briefly considered a run for mayor of West Palm Beach last fall.
The former congressman is scheduled to undergo a cutting-edge minimally-invasive procedure at the Global Robotics Institute, a resort-style hospital near Orlando, Fla.
“The removal of the prostate will be performed through a small hole in the abdominal cavity,” he said. “I should be on my feet within two or three days.”
Because he felt in excellent health, Foley said he was shocked when a biopsy turned up positive for cancerous cells. He admitted to making the mistake of skipping two yearly physicals.
“I thought it’s an old man’s disease,” Foley said. “My dad died of cancer at 86 and it started with his prostate. But I was with plenty men my age in the doctor’s waiting room. I’d urge men to get checked out religiously for prostate cancer every year.”
When asked about his approach to the upcoming surgery, Foley said it couldn’t be nearly as unpleasant as the scandal that cost him his congressional job.
“I made it through 2006,” he said, “so this is a minor bump in the road.”
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