Representative Mo Brooks announced Wednesday morning he has high-risk prostate cancer and will miss the House floor votes next week.
He goes into surgery Friday to have his prostate removed.
Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in American men, but Brooks said things are looking good for him because the cancer hasn’t spread.
“Mr. Speaker this is a very difficult speech for me to give,” Brooks told the House floor.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in seven men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes. Sixty-three-year old Brooks is one in those seven, but he doesn’t plan to be one of the almost 27,000 who die from it every year. He knows how critical early detection is.
“My father discovered his prostate cancer early,” Brooks continued. “He lived four decades after his prostatectomy. My grandfather discovered his prostate cancer too late. He died not long thereafter.”
The congressman used his personal announcement as a way to help others.
“Don’t ever, ever take your health or family for granted,” he said. “I encourage age-appropriate men to have regular PSA tests.”
It was in his prostate-specific antigen test, or PSA, that he found out something was wrong. But he wouldn’t have known if he hadn’t taken it.
“Losing the Senate race may have saved my life,” Brooks said.
Brooks’ friend and political radio show host Dale Jackson believes the congressman won’t have any problem coming back to the political arena after health issues.
“I think he’ll be back sooner than most people expect him to be,” Jackson said.
Jackson said it’s hard to hear that a good friend has cancer, but he believes Brooks will be back at it without trouble.
“I dare a political opponent to try to make a misvote over a cancer diagnosis,” he continued. “I don’t see any political ramifications of this at all.”
Jackson believes taking the time to make a public service announcement was important to do.
“Congressman Brooks is notoriously frank and will tell you everything above board,” Jackson said. “And I think this opportunity to talk about this and say, ‘hey this is a problem,’ keep in mind his father had the same issue and I believe his grandfather had the same issue as well. So I think it’s important he brought that to light to because you need to get checked.”