Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Dayton announces prostate cancer diagnosis

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
Gov. Mark Dayton will be heading to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester next week to look into treatment options.

Gov. Mark Dayton, who released his budget Tuesday, a day after he fainted during his state of the state address, told reporters he was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Dayton said he went in for a biopsy at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester last Wednesday and was diagnosed with cancer two days later. Doctors told the two-term governor that his cancer has not spread to other parts of the body and is treatable. Dayton turns 70 on Thursday.

He is going to Rochester next week to look into treatment options, which he said could be surgery or radiation. Dayton said he had planned to disclose his cancer diagnosis to the public after he got more information on his treatment, but the fainting episode brought questions of his health to the forefront.

When asked if he was still fit to serve as governor of Minnesota, Dayton replied: “I think I am,” adding that if he isn’t, “I won’t continue.”

Dayton also said he’s heading down to the Mayo Clinic tonight for a more thorough checkup after he collapsed during his state of the state address Monday evening. He had a short checkup at the residence after he collapsed, but his physician heard about his fall on Twitter and called him up to suggest a visit.

The governor, who usually travels with a cane, has had two spinal surgeries in the last two years and fainted at a political event last January. He also suffers from back and hip pain. He’s had several checkups since his stay in the hospital last year, but no other hospitalizations, he said.

Dayton repeatedly insisted that he’s still up to doing the job. As he often does, Dayton cracked jokes throughout the press conference.

“When I had hip surgery I said, ‘There are no brain cells in the hip,’” Dayton said. “As far as I know, there are no brain cells in the prostate.”

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 01/24/2017 - 02:00 pm.

    Get Well.

    Godspeed, Governor.

  2. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/24/2017 - 03:16 pm.

    The best

    If elects to end his term tomorrow and pass the responsibilities of the job on to his preferred successor, Tina Smith, he can be proud of accomplishments that make him the best Governor in this state in the past 40 years based on actual numbers and results.

    From the deficits and annual crises of his predecessor, Dayton has proven that every tax cut is not good and every tax increase is not bad. Both are tools of government, that when properly applied, can encourage/facilitate economic growth. A thriving state economy can lift business successes by double digit percent increases in profitability, jobs, growth during a Governor’s term in office. If a 1-2% additional tax burden enables this growth that is a worthwhile investment. And if that 1-2% can later be eventually returned through a tax cut that is enabled by this economic success that is all the better.

  3. Submitted by Kenneth Kjer on 01/24/2017 - 03:32 pm.

    The Gov

    I wish him well, I went through prostate cancer and it seems like they caught his the same way they caught mine with a physical. I certainly hope it is early enough to get him through this. My oncologist told me that with prostate cancer it is not if a man will get it, but when. I recommend all men get a exam at least yearly.

  4. Submitted by Howard Miller on 01/24/2017 - 04:05 pm.

    Wishing for your speedy full recovery, Governor

    Born to wealth, Mr. Dayton has nonetheless spent his adult life in service to others. He’s a mensch. Bless you, Governor, hope you recover fully and quickly.

  5. Submitted by Margaret Houlehan on 01/25/2017 - 01:03 pm.

    Best Governor in the nation

    and the most underrated. God Bless you, Governor Dayton! Prostate cancer is very treatable. We need you in Minnesota, now more than ever.

  6. Submitted by Patricia Broyles on 01/25/2017 - 02:02 pm.

    Dayton’s health

    Dear Governor Dayton- thank you for being so good at your job. Your dedication to our State is remarkable when we consider how much pain you have been through due to health conditions. Here is hoping this latest bump in the road is taken care of with good results and that you can continue to govern us for the next two years.

Leave a Reply