Republican Rep. Mo Brooks (Ala.) announced Wednesday he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, saying that losing the GOP Alabama Senate primary this summer may have saved his life because he might not otherwise have known he had it.
In a speech on the House floor, Brooks said his doctor called with the news on Halloween night and he had to take swift action, emotionally recounting telling his wife over the phone of the bad news.
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He also said medical scans revealed no cancer beyond his prostate and he had been cleared for surgery, although the scheduling of it has been complicated by a changing House voting calendar.
Brooks said the public should remember to not take health or family for granted, age-appropriate men should get Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) tests, and, lastly, not winning the Alabama GOP Senate nomination allowed him to catch the cancer diagnosis.
Brooks finished third out of nine candidates behind eventual nominee Roy Moore and incumbent Sen. Luther Strange (R., Ala.) in the GOP primary in August. Moore later defeated Strange in the runoff, but he lost to Democrat Doug Jones in the special election held Tuesday night.
"Had I won, I would not have had time for my physical and PSA test," Brooks said. "I would not have had a prostate biopsy. I would not now know about my high-risk prostate cancer that requires immediate surgery. In retrospect, and paradoxically, losing the Senate race may have saved my life. Yes, God does work in mysterious ways."
Brooks said he will miss floor votes next week due to his surgery scheduled Friday.