NY Mayor Readies for Cancer Therapy

Friday, September 15th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Rudolph Giuliani underwent radioactive seed implantation Friday morning to treat his prostate cancer.

The mayor was expected to be ``back in commission'' later Friday and return to full-time work at City Hall in a few days, Deputy Mayor Joseph Lhota said.

``He told me to tell you that when you see him next he will be radioactive, and he looks forward to somehow or another interfering with your radio transmissions,'' Lhota told reporters at City Hall.

Giuliani, 56, announced in April that he had prostate cancer and cited his health a few weeks later when he dropped his bid for the U.S. Senate seat sought by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

He has been taking hormones to limit the growth of cancerous cells by controlling the production of male sex hormones, including testosterone.

He chose radiation therapy over surgery to remove the prostate.

Used mainly in the early stages of the disease, radiation can be either delivered externally or implanted in seeds.

Guided by ultrasound imaging, doctors use long, hollow needles to insert the seeds — which are about the size of grains of rice — into the prostate. The American Cancer Society says five-year survival rates following the therapy exceed 90 percent.

Radiation patients are less likely than surgery patients to experience impotence or incontinence, though their bowels may be affected. Radiation patients can maintain a normal routine during the seven-week therapy, while surgery patients typically need a three-day hospital stay and reduced work schedule.