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Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) speaks at a campaign rally for his reelection on Sept. 21, 2018 at Philadelphia's Dell Music Center. Credit: Son Nguyen

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) was diagnosed with prostate cancer last month and will undergo surgery, according to a statement released Jan. 5. 

The 62-year-old senator has “an excellent prognosis,” the statement said. Casey, who was first elected to the Senate in 2006, is expected to make a full recovery after surgery. Before becoming senator, he was previously the Pennsylvania treasurer and auditor general. 

When asked to comment on the diagnosis’s impact on Casey’s ability to run for re-election in the 2024 election, his Washington office told The Daily Pennsylvanian that he is focused on being an effective senator for the duration of the 118th Congress. 

Prostate cancer, which affects a gland in the male reproductive system, is one of the most common cancers among men. Most cases of prostate cancer grow slowly and do not cause serious harm if confined to the prostate gland, according to the Mayo Clinic. The press statement did not indicate the severity of Casey's condition. 

Although Casey’s statement said that he plans to continue his participation “with minimal disruption,” any potential absences may complicate matters for Democrats, who currently hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate. His seat, which is up for re-election in the upcoming 2024 election cycle, is currently eyed by Republicans who seek to flip it, according to The New York Times. Although he has not officially announced a re-election campaign, he has strongly indicated the possibility, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. 

After his cancer diagnosis was announced, a flurry of politicians voiced their support for Casey, including junior Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) and Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro, who were both elected in November 2022. 

“Wishing Senator Casey well after his diagnosis,” Fetterman wrote on Twitter on Jan. 5. “He was there for me and I’ll be right there for him during this.” 

Fetterman suffered a stroke in May 2022 while on the campaign trail, which led to an extended hospital stay, the installation of a pacemaker and defibrillator in his heart, and diagnosis of atrial fibrillation and cardiomyopathy.