McGowan: alive & well after cancer scare

MIKE McGOWAN: Yolo supervisor hopes to encourage others to keep up with their doctor visits, catch prostate cancer early

NEWS-LEDGER – SEPT 14, 2011 –

By Steve Marschke

News-Ledger Editor

    Yolo County Supervisor Michael McGowan told the News-Ledger last week that the September 13 supervisors’ meeting was going to have special significance to him – for a couple of reasons.

McGowan was recovering from prostate cancer surgery (successful) and from a life-threatening infection that developed afterward and sent him back to the intensive care unit.

  “Tuesday the 13th, we’re going to do a resolution recognizing September as prostate cancer awareness month,” said McGowan. “We’ve done this for several years, and for some reason, I’ve been the board member who handled it the last couple of years. This year, it’s a bit more poignant – in June, I had prostate cancer surgery. Coincidentally, it will also be my first day back to work on the 13th.”

The illness gave him a roller-coaster ride.

“It went from the good news that they got all the cancer out, to the bad news that I had a secondary infection and had to go to the hospital for one or two more weeks. I was taken out of my home in a stretcher, and some of our firefighters told me ‘you’re a very sick man.’”

“I want people to know I’m fine – I’m back in the saddle,” he said last week. “More importantly, I’m an example that if you see your doctor and you take the tests on schedule, you’ve got a really good chance of coming out fine. Guys have a tendency to sort of put these things off.”

McGowan said men should talk to their doctor about prostate cancer.

“I want to highlight the fact that guys ‘of a certain age’ should start taking their annual physical and PSA blood tests seriously. If they do catch this cancer in an early stage, it’s just about 100 percent curable. If you wait until it spreads to other parts of the body, you’re down to about one-third.”

The illnesses took some weight and strength off the West Sacramento resident. But he’s getting active again.

“It was an ‘unplanned diet.’ I still take it easy, but I am getting stronger. I’m walking about three and a half miles a day.”

Yesterday, he was scheduled to present the county’s resolution on prostate cancer awareness – to some familiar faces who would be receiving it.

“I’ll be giving the resolution to some of the guys from the UC Davis Medical Center cancer unit,” he said.

McGowan is married (to wife Sue). He is a former West Sacramento city councilman, and was the city’s first mayor after it incorporated in 1987.

Copyright News-Ledger 2011

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