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Powell has prostate cancer surgery

Secretary of State did 'extremely well'

Colin Powell
Colin Powell

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Colin Powell
State Department
Secretary of State

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Secretary of State Colin Powell had successful surgery Monday to remove his cancerous prostate, the State Department announced.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Powell's doctors said the two-hour surgery "went fine" and Powell did "extremely well."

His doctors had told Powell he was suffering from "localized prostate cancer," Boucher said.

Powell, 66, was expected to remain at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington for several days after the operation, Boucher said.

"He will be on a reduced schedule while he recovers from the operation, " said Boucher.

Few other details of the procedure were released.

Powell, a retired Army general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was diagnosed with the condition in late August or early September and scheduled surgery at that time, a State Department official said.

He notified President Bush two weeks ago, and has cleared two weeks from his schedule to recover, the official said.

The official said doctors did not see the need for emergency surgery at the time of his diagnosis.

"The assumption is he won't require much in the way of follow-on treatment," the official said.

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men, and the risk of occurrence increases with age, according to the Mayo Clinic. By age 80, about half of men have some cancerous cells in their prostate.

But because it is such a slow-growing cancer, many opt to forgo treatment. On average, a male in the United States has only about a 3 percent risk of dying of prostate cancer.

For those who decide to get treatment, options range from radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, removal of the prostate gland and radioactive seed implants.

CNN producer Elise Labott contributed to this report.

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