Thursday, September 14, 2000

Ken Blackwell recovering from prostate cancer surgery

By Howard Wilkinson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell underwent prostate cancer surgery Wednesday morning in an operation his surgeon termed “successful.”

        “Ken Blackwell's young age and good health allowed him to come through the surgery without complications,” said Dr. Jim Simon, who performed the surgery at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus.

J. Kenneth Blackwell
        “The ease in which the surgery was carried out makes us optimistic the disease was confined to his prostate gland,” Dr. Simon said.

        The Columbus surgeon said he does not think the cancer has spread but will know for certain early next week when the pathological report on Mr. Blackwell's surgery is completed.

        Mr. Blackwell's prostate cancer was discovered recently in a routine physical exam, through a blood test called prostate specific antigen (PSA).

        Prostate cancer, the most common form of cancer among men, usually occurs after age 50 and has a higher rate of occurrence among African-American males. Mr. Blackwell is 52 and an African-American.

        Carlo LoParo, communications director in the secretary of state's office, said Mr. Blackwell will be hospitalized three to five days and is expected to return to work within five to seven weeks.

        “He is doing well, in good spirits, and is grateful it was caught early,” Mr. LoParo said.

        A former Cincinnati councilman and mayor, Mr. Blackwell is Ohio's chief elections officer as secretary of state. He is also one of the Republican Party's highest profile African-American elected officials.

        Earlier this year, he was national chairman for Steve Forbes' unsuccessful bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

        Since Mr. Forbes dropped out, Mr. Blackwell has been a highly visible surrogate for the campaign of George W. Bush, representing the Bush campaign on numerous TV and radio talk shows.


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