Source AP ©

Israel PM to disclose that he has prostate cancer

According to Israeli government official, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will announce on Monday that he has prostate cancer, but that the disease is not threatening his life.

Olmert, who took office in March 2006, is 62 years old. The prime minister was scheduled to give a news conference at 1000 GMT to deliver the news himself.

The government official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official announcement by Olmert had not yet been made.

The announcement is coming at a delicate time in Mideast peacemaking, just weeks ahead of a U.S.-brokered summit designed to relaunch long-stalled peace talks. It was not clear how or if Olmert's illness would affect his already troubled efforts to frame a common outline with the Palestinians ahead of the conference, scheduled to take place in Annapolis, Maryland in either November or December.

No further details were immediately available on Olmert's condition or plans for treatment.

The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland beneath the base of the penis that makes seminal fluid. Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. In most men, it grows so slowly that it will never threaten their lives. Treatment often leads to problems having sex or controlling the bladder, so finding a way to distinguish which tumors can safely be left alone is the field's top priority.

The primary risk factor is age, with the disease commonly striking after a man is after 50.

It can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and occasionally chemotherapy, among other treatments.

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