Just last week, US Senator Bill Nelson announced having been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Now, he is currently recovering after undergoing a successful prostate surgery.

The 72-year-old Florida Democrat's office announced last Thursday that the surgery was to take place this week Monday.

Doctors expect that the senator will take at least a week to recover.

The detection of Nelson's prostate cancer was not anticipated, however, fortunately early during a routine medical exam. Experts say that prostate cancer manifests itself in symptoms that occur during its late stages. These symptoms include difficulty and pain in urinating, blood in the urine and pain in the pelvis or back.

For the senator, he did not have to go through those symptoms as the cancer was detected in its early stage and it has not spread out of the prostate yet.

Each year, 220,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Over 20,000 men are expected to die of the disease. For patients who have been diagnosed much earlier especially during routine and preventive checks, survival is almost 100 percent. 

Prostate cancer is more common in men ages 45 and up, with average time of diagnosis occurring at 70. Men who have first-degree family members who were diagnosed with prostate cancer are at a doubled risk of getting it too. Surgery is most effective in patients who are generally healthy and in those whose tumor has not yet grown to outside of the prostate.

Other risk factors of prostate cancer include those that are dietary and those that are related to exposure to medication, infectious diseases and sexual factors.

"Bill wants to thank all the people in Florida and elsewhere who sent prayers and well wishes," said the senator's wife Grace, after the surgery, while also thanking the medical staff, nurses and doctors looking after her husband.

"I've been blessed with good health, which has allowed me the great privilege of public service, and I look forward to continuing serving our country and Florida," says an optimistic Nelson prior to Monday's surgery.

The diagnosis should not affect any of his plans of running for a fourth term in the Senate in 2018.

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