Mitt Romney announces he underwent treatment for prostate cancer

Dr. Jennifer Ashton discusses the health announcement from the former Republican presidential nominee.
3:00 | 01/09/18

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Transcript for Mitt Romney announces he underwent treatment for prostate cancer
Mitt Romney revealing he was treated for prostate cancer last summer. He may run for senate and Dr. Ashton is here. Good morning, sir. To talk about it. Thank you for joining us. Mitt Romney, he's 70 years old. He's been generally in great health. Yep. So what is the risk of prostate -- who is at risk for it and why? Short answer, literally every man. When I was in medical school, Michael, we were taught that in a man lives long enough, almost every man will have at least microscopic evidence of prostate cancer so the statistics, it affects about one in six or seven men. It is more common as men age so over the age of 65 definitely more common and there is a range. This is important. Not all prostate cancer will kill a man, slow-growing types and aggressive types. Those at high risk, people with family history and African-American men affected more often. 40 years old you should start having your prostate exams. What is the new age now? Well, listen, the screening -- this the most important thing. The screening recommendations have changed in the past years and there has been some controversy with that like any screening test for cancer because of the question, is that screening test doing more harm than good? So to be clear, this is a shared decision-making process. It is not one size fits all. It appears the biggest benefit of screening is between men age 55 to 69 and it depends on the age of that man and his again health. We're talking about about this blood test mostly called a psa so this is a controversial area and it's something that men should discuss with their health care provider. And Romney's case he had his treated surgically. What are the other options. More options for treating prostate cancer than many other. If you okay at the list and this is -- there's surveillance called watchful waiting or surveillance, surgery, radiation therapy, cryotherapy then you go on to hormonal therapy, chemo. Some vaccines. If it has spread to the bone you can target that. There are a ton of options and it's really something that the man has to discuss with his surgeon, with his urologist and it's based on not just the stage or grade of the cancer, but his age and his health so someone who is 70 may choose a different treatment than someone who is 60. Got you. Doc, thank you so much. The biggest thing, guys make sure you get screened. Talk to your doctor. Exactly. Thank you. Great advice there.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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