Maryland Governor Says He Remains Cancer-Free

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday he remains cancer-free, with one more treatment scheduled before he hopes to have the disease behind him.

Hogan gave an update on his battle against B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma after signing an executive order that renews the state's Council on Cancer Control.

``I just had a PET scan done a few weeks ago,'' Hogan told reporters after the announcement. ``I'm completely cancer-free, and I have one more treatment, and then I'll be hopefully done with it forever.''

The governor was diagnosed in June 2015, five months into his first term. Over four months, he underwent 30 days of 24-hour chemotherapy. He also had three surgeries and four spinal taps. Hogan announced in November he was in remission.

``I'm feeling great, and you know I've been cancer-free for nearly a year, and I had a proposed plan to do one year of sort of maintenance chemotherapy,'' Hogan said. ``Once a month I go in to get a little booster, just to make sure it doesn't recur.''

When Hogan first announced the illness last year, he said he had first noticed a golf ball-like lump in his neck while shaving and was later diagnosed with what he described as ``very advanced and very aggressive'' cancer. He also felt some back pain, which he said was caused by a tumor pressing on his spinal column.

``Cancer doesn't care what your job is, and it certainly doesn't care whether you have a state to run,'' Hogan said when he reaffirmed the state's commitment to fighting cancer by highlighting the recently updated Maryland Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan.

The plan is updated every four years by the state's health department. The plan is a guide for applying best practices and strategies for cancer prevention and treatment in the state.

Dr. Howard Haft, Maryland's deputy secretary of public health, said the state has made dramatic improvements in cancer mortality rates in the last 25 years. While more than 10,000 state residents die each year from cancer, the state's cancer mortality rate has improved from being the third highest in the nation from 1989 to 1993 to the 31st highest from 2009 to 2013, the most recent data time period.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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