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Bob Dole's Prostate Cancer


Updated January 02, 2010

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Bob Dole's Prostate Cancer

Bob Dole

Photo by Stephanie Kuykendal - Getty Images

Senator Robert "Bob" Dole served as a United States Senator representing the state of Kansas from 1969 to 1996. He ran unsuccessfully for President in 1996.

Before his time in the Senate, Dole served in the United States Army.

Bob Dole's Prostate Cancer Story

Senator Dole was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1991 after undergoing routine screening. His cancer was detected at an early stage and it had not spread outside of the prostate at the time of diagnosis.

As his cancer was detected early, he had several choices for initial prostate cancer treatment and elected to undergo surgery to remove his prostate. In testimony that Dole gave before Congress in 1999, he said that he was given the choice between surgery and radiation, carefully weighed the pros and cons of each, and came to the conclusion that surgery was the best option for his situation.

Since his surgery, Senator Dole has had numerous PSA tests and physical examinations without any evidence of cancer recurrence.

Life After Prostate Cancer

Since his retirement from Congress, Senator Dole has remained very active in raising awareness about various aspects of men's health. Most famously, he appeared in several television commercials for Viagra and spoke openly about his own struggle with erectile dysfunction following surgery.

He has also helped to raise funds for prostate cancer research and, in 2007, donated $150,000 to the University of Kansas Cancer Center to create a prostate cancer research fund.

Dole has continued to speak out over the years about the need for improved screening, earlier diagnosis, and more effective treatments for prostate cancer.


Statement of Senator Bob Dole to the Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, June 16, 1999

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