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October 19th, 2011
04:59 PM ET

Cancer spurred Cain to go 'bigger and bolder'

Herman Cain took some hits in Tuesday's CNN Republican presidential debate, but so far the biggest opponent he has ever faced appears to be cancer – a battle he says he has won. In 2006, the former Godfather's Pizza CEO says, he was given a 30% chance of survival against his stage 4 colon cancer.

It started when Cain experienced discomfort in his lower belly, according to a letter written earlier this year by one of his physicians, Dr. Martin York of Peachtree Hematology-Oncology Consultants  in Atlanta.  The results of his colonoscopy showed stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to his liver. According to York's letter, Cain was treated in Atlanta with four cycles of chemotherapy before he underwent surgery to remove the cancer from his liver and colon at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The liver is one of the most common organs for colon cancer to spread to, says Dr. Cathy Eng, one of Cain's doctors at M. D. Anderson. Following Cain's surgery, he received six more cycles of chemotherapy, finishing his treatment in January of 2007, according to Cain's book "This is Herman Cain."  Now more than five years later, his doctor says he's still cancer free.

Twenty five percent of colon cancer patients are told they have advanced or stage 4 colon cancer, just as Herman Cain was. The key to a good prognosis is really whether the tumor or tumors can be removed by surgery, says Eng.

The five year survival rate for patients whose tumor can't be taken out is between 11 and 15%,  says Eng, but the percentage goes up dramatically - to between 35 and 65% -  for patients who can get surgery. The highest risk of recurrence is within the first two years, but doctors typically continue to monitor patients for a total of five years before they consider the patient to be cancer free, adds Eng.

Detecting colon cancer early makes a big difference in a patient's treatment and ability to survive. Colonoscopies are the standard for men and women starting at the age of 50 and repeating the test every ten years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some people may need to consider getting the test earlier especially if they have a family history of cancer. Certain population groups such as African-Americans are more at risk for colon cancer so getting tested as early as 45 is key.  African-Americans tend to have more advanced disease, says Eng. But she adds, it's important to keep in mind that 75% of colon cancer diagnoses are "sporadic," meaning the cancer is not a result of family history.

So how did Cain evolve from cancer patient to GOP front-runner? Cain told CNN after beating cancer he felt he had to do "something bigger and bolder," which is what led him to decide to make a run for the GOP nomination. In his book, he also talks about the birth of his grandchild and feeling the need to make a difference in that child's future by seeking public office.

Cain:  "Because of my faith, I wasn't afraid"

While Cain is cancer free, he should be working every day to maintain a healthy lifestyle, balance his diet and exercise regularly says Eng. "It's important to be a good patient and get any follow up that he needs."


soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. 1crusader

    I am not a supporter of Mr. Cain, nor do I agree with most of his views, but I am happy that he beat Cancer, and that it has given him a positive outlook, and new confidence.Good for him

    October 19, 2011 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AmericanSam

      Hear hear!

      October 19, 2011 at 20:21 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      So will some of you brainwashed liberals please explain to me (without lying) what is wrong with Herman Cain as a presidential candidate? Be specific.

      October 19, 2011 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
    • Vigla

      What's wrong with him? 9-9-9... Plus he has diarrhea of the mouth. Not a good trait as a president. He knows nothing about governing AT ALL. I mean, he actually thinks his 9-9-9 plan will PASS?! Being delusional is also a bad trait for a president.

      October 19, 2011 at 23:18 | Report abuse |
    • Neal Kelley

      He is an idiot... is that plain enough for you. The guy is out of touch with the needs and aspirations of the American People.. ( Like most of washington... Dems and Repubs included..)

      October 20, 2011 at 12:43 | Report abuse |
    • Desarae

      My little brother was shot and killed with a shot gun this week by a planned robbery of 6 people.

      http://fayobserver.com/articles/2011/10/22/1132032?sac=Crime

      October 24, 2011 at 15:18 | Report abuse |
  2. MTATL67

    I am not a supporter of Mr. Cains and think he has some very disconnect views than the average every day person. I am glad that he beat the cancer. The world always need differing points of view.

    October 19, 2011 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Vigla

      Differing views are fine, as long as they are based on REALITY, not something that looks like came up on a napkin in a diner...

      October 19, 2011 at 23:19 | Report abuse |
  3. Mary

    Bigger and better with cialis

    October 19, 2011 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kornhodle

      Cain is very well hung right now....he straps a big one to his leg!

      October 19, 2011 at 21:38 | Report abuse |
  4. Carolae

    I, too, am not a supporter of Cain; however, am glad to hear that he is cancer-free so far. However, in view of this, he should not have put himself into the presidential race. If by some mere chance he does get elected and the cancer comes back, the country will have to deal with the V.P. and if he is not a strong person, we the people, could be losing a lot.

    October 19, 2011 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Logic n LA

    I'm glad he survived and has gotten strength from it. But do we have to suffer because he got better by him running for President?

    October 19, 2011 at 20:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. clwyd

    So now I experience pain in my lower belly every time I look at this man and think of the huge tax breaks his 9-9-9 Plan will bring for the rich! I'm not so sure I share the same views about his cancer as many others here do?

    October 19, 2011 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Chester

    Good for him! Always nice to hear when someone beats cancer! As far as the comment that he should not be running if he knew he had cancer...have you read the statistics about cancer, heart disease, etc.....? Chances are pretty good that any man running for president/being the president can get/have either!

    October 19, 2011 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. iHateStupid

    CNN doesn't believe Cain's cancer was that serious and will be working to trivialize his battle.

    October 19, 2011 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jean Sartre

      The only cancer Mr. Cain got was from eating some of his Godfathers Pizza... the rest of this tale is all hype!

      October 19, 2011 at 22:27 | Report abuse |
  9. Rich

    Cain is lucky to have health insurance as the GOP wants to just let the less fortunate die rather than have any Obamacare like every other non 3rd world country.He should have refused treatment to see how it feels to suffer and die with no insurance for the sake of the big insurance companys...

    October 19, 2011 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kornhodle

      Obomacare will be fazed out prior to ever taking hold...as soon as Oboma is out in 2012, this nonsense will be repealed!

      October 19, 2011 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre

      Seeing as the Affordability Health Care Act doesn't really come into FULL EFFECT until 2014, and MOST Conservatives do not have a clue regarding what it does and doesn't do – Conservatives/Pee Party folks do not read – it is really amazing that so many of them are against it... must be that partisan thing...

      I don't know what President Obama has done, but I'm a Conservative and he isn't, so I have to be against both it and him!

      October 19, 2011 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      I believe it was Nancy Pelosi that said "let's pass the bill so we know what's in it". The Dems passed a bill they didn't read and now the Obama administration is repealing parts of their own bill! Let's get the facts straight before you start spewing your lies!

      October 20, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse |
    • Minette

      Finally!! Someone addresses the point that if Mr. Cain had no or minimal health coverage, such as that of over 75% of Americans, that he would not have had access to MD Anderson or similar agencies and he probably would have died from his stage 4 colon cancer – just like my brother did 4 years ago. American needs help – but not from Mr. Cain, please!!!

      October 20, 2011 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
  10. Dwan

    After a double dose of the Republican Debate\The many facets of Bush, I can safely conclude that this country’s political future is all but deceased. There has never been a collection of poorly equipped actors like this on one stage since the start of these debates. We, as Americans by now should be ashamed of ourselves for giving audience to this poorly manufactured stupidity. If one knew not any better, it would be perceived that we have thrown in the towel on logic and common sense. There is no honesty, substance or a clear direction of travel from either of the contenders, and what’s more ominous and mind boggling is that they actually display a secure feel of confidence in their lack substance, which clearly indicates that what you or I think or feel is absolutely pointless in their current frame of mind. The fact of the matter is that there are no conclusive ways to determine who's who with these candidates but one thing is certain, none of them are who they say they are.

    October 19, 2011 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. scotty

    I don't like his demeanor. doesnt like to admit he is wrong. first its a joke then it was half serious. oranges apples.. what? over simplified

    October 19, 2011 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. R Dancy

    Cain and Gingrich are the team we need ! They are the only 2 that were truly presidential .... Just imagine Romney , PErry or Santorum with those outburst trying to negociate with other countries ? WE would be in another war we don't need !!! Also , WE HAD BETTER PUT A TRUE BELIEVER IN OFFICE THIS TIME BECAUSE IF WE DON'T , THE WRATH OF God will come like we have never seen before !!! Cain is a former Baptist minister and Gingrich a new Catholic.... The bible says , if we turn our heads to God that he will heal our land.... America needs healing NOW !! LET'S NOT JUST EXCHANGE A MUSLIM FOR ANOTHER NON-BELIEVER MORMON !!! ROMNEY WILL SAY AND DO ANYTHING TO GET ELECTED !!! Why isn't the liberal media telling the fact that Romney only had a 23% approval rating when he left the MA govenor's office.... That is why he never sought re-election because he knew he couldn't get re-elected !!!!!WAke Up America before it's toooo late !!!

    October 19, 2011 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • elio

      Dude you and your words are crazy at best ...should consider to call your shrink!!!!

      October 19, 2011 at 21:38 | Report abuse |
    • Racist Dumb Stupid Uneducated Filthy Republican

      Dancy I tend to agree with you. But you know you're posting in hostile territory. 90% of these posters, for whatever reason they can dream up, think Obama is doing a good job, yet nome of them can explain why they think that. Just wanted to warn you.

      October 19, 2011 at 22:05 | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre

      I think Kentucky just lost their state idiot...

      October 19, 2011 at 22:39 | Report abuse |
  13. Rich

    The real reason the GOP wants to cut funding for education is so they can widen their base....The tea party is a good start...

    October 19, 2011 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Racist Dumb Stupid Uneducated Filthy Republican

      Rich........another example of a liberal who thinks the government owes him a free education?

      October 19, 2011 at 22:07 | Report abuse |
  14. Kris

    Playing the cancer card...I've done it myself lol. Good for Cain, but he's still a clown.

    October 19, 2011 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. helenecha

    I'm not happy after seeing the words he expressed, but I know he is a good patient. Good for him.

    October 19, 2011 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Bob

    The only thing cancer made bigger and bolder was Cain's prostate.

    October 19, 2011 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kornhodle

      his penis also grew to 14 inches due to superworking prostate gland!

      October 19, 2011 at 21:42 | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Can I refer you to a copy of Grey's Anatomy. The Colon and Prostrate are two very different things.

      October 20, 2011 at 08:01 | Report abuse |
  17. Bob

    Proof there is no God. Cancer robbed us of Steve Jobs and left Herman Cain behind.

    October 19, 2011 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jean Sartre

      I couldn't agree more!

      October 19, 2011 at 22:41 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Bob, your comment truly saddens me.

      October 20, 2011 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
  18. RB2

    So this fool is playing the race card, the corporate CEO card, the privileged vs unprivileged card, and now the sympathy card? What a joke. We would be better off with a tree stump for a candidate.

    October 19, 2011 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Not Fat

    Was it brain cancer? Because this guy is an idiot.

    October 19, 2011 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. vuduchld

    Who cares? Lots of people have fought cancer and beat the odds. There are others out there struggling to survive on a daily basis. Frankly, I could give a good snot about this worthless piece of trash. Flush this maggot down the toilet.

    October 19, 2011 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Let me guess.....you don't like him because if he wins you may have to get a job???

      October 19, 2011 at 22:00 | Report abuse |
  21. Bud Tarken

    Good for him too bad he's not for supporting health care for the rest of us.

    October 19, 2011 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. mike21954

    All my prostate cancer did was make it hurt when I had to pee.

    October 19, 2011 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      If you hit a certain age they don't even treat it. You'll die of old age first.

      October 19, 2011 at 22:38 | Report abuse |
  23. GG

    Glad he got his hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cancer treatments paid for by insurance. Oh that's right... if you don't have healthcare it is YOUR fault.

    October 19, 2011 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. sam

    Anybody ever notice how democrats are always so nasty?

    October 19, 2011 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jean Sartre

      Yeah, they are always calling Obama the N***** word, building signs depicting him as a monkey or with a Hitler mustache, calling him a liar, a Socialist, a Marxist... Yes, I can see why YOU would believe that...

      October 19, 2011 at 22:47 | Report abuse |
    • Minette

      No, but I sure can pick the evil, uncaring, idiot Republicans every time!

      October 20, 2011 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
  25. Steve

    It may take years but every person I know that has beaten cancer has seen it come back. They didn't make it through the second time.

    October 19, 2011 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Redleg

    Anyone else notice he was treated at a socialist hospital?

    October 20, 2011 at 08:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Liblady

    This actually isn't good news. Once you have had stage 4 cancer, there is a very good chance it will come back. A candidate's health should matter when seeking the presidency. This may hurt his chances if he ends up being the nominee. That and the fact that he has no tact or decorum–I can't imagine him talking the way he does to world leaders–and he is no where near the orator that Obama is.

    If Cain wins the nomination and it's two African Americans running for President, I'd have to say no thanks to Cain. I'll vote to keep the smart one we already have in place rather than voting for an untested, ill-mannered new one.

    October 20, 2011 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Republicans are the cancer. God is helping Obama to find a cure for this DNA Mutant Tri-Polar One-Celled Brain Intelligence Defciency KKK GOP Puke Breath Maggot Face Tear Pity Tea Party Loser Brigade Syndrome Disorder.

    October 20, 2011 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Gepaart Vision

    WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER !!! OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES NOW !!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xGfYOAydjw OR http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009. These are hard facts about lunatic Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against white population

    Ask your local newspaper/media why do they keep silent about crime/genocide !!? Ask them why do they KNOWINGLY participate in crime/genocide !!! BECAUSE SILENCE = CRIME !!!

    ANTI WALL STREET PROTESTS = TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP = COMMUNISM

    WALL STREET PROTESTS...NOT ANTI WALL-STREET AT ALL, BUT INSTEAD RACIALLY MOTIVATED VIOLENCE AGAINST WHITES !!!

    ANTI WALL-STREET PROTESTS ARE ALSO KNOWN UNDER ZIONIST "TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP" IN AMERICA !!! TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP FROM HANDS OF WHITE AMERICANS TO SO CALLED "MINORITIES"(COMMUNISM) http://multiculturalismisterrorism.blogspot.com/

    THEY WERE MURDERING YOU WITH AND INSIDE OF THEIR CORPORATIONS FOR OVER 66 YEARS !!! THEY HAVE CLOSED DOWN ALMOST EVERY SMALL COMPANY(FARMS) IN UNITES STATES OF AMERICA AND NOW, THEY WANT YOU TO GO OUT THERE AND PROTEST FOR THEM AGAINST WALL STREET(because corporations = Wall-street) !!!

    THEY CRIME CONTEMPLATED AGAINST US PER EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION FOR OVER 66 YEARS AND NOW, THEY WANT YOU TO RAISE COMMUNIST FLAG UNDER AMERICAN SKY !!! ONE RACE; RAT RACE(Wall street protesters are Obama's raise of the planet Apes army which spread from London per Zionist Washington DC and communist Moscow where new Stalin is in place – PUTIN) !!!

    IF YOU PROTEST(YOU SHOULD), MAKE SURE TO RAISE SIGN WHERE DISPLAYED I CITE "66 YEARS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE" OR GET LOST HOME IF NOT ALREADY HOMELESS(I despise people who starve to death out there and are afraid to say out loud what is truth...I despise people who only see themselves and do NOT care even about children of their own...children who will be turned one day in white refugees as seen on above video thanks to their parents who are awaiting...awaiting in fear to become homeless and what is inevitable at any given moment) !!!

    CREATE AWARENESS AND POST THIS VERY SAME VIDEO ON YOUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

    WAKE UP YOUR FRIENDS AND SAVE YOURSELF FROM AGONY(did you know that over one hundred million of so called minorities lives already in United States very today and as a result, over 450 million whites worldwide were murdered with economic genocide/oppression since WWII just as seen and proven in above video !!?)...

    THERE IS ESTIMATED THAT ONGOING GENOCIDE TREND WILL CONTINUE TO GO ON FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER 50 YEARS IF NOT DESTROYED(is completed only 30% so far) AND IS ONLY MATTER OF TIME WHEN YOU ARE NEXT IN LINE FOR THE SAKE OF MULTICULTURALISM(TERRORISM)...

    911 WAS CREATED FOR PEOPLE TO WAKE UP(deliberately by CIA)....HOWEVER, WAKE UP EITHER WHAT IS TRUTH(sanity) OR WAKE UP TO LIES(insanity = with what your self elected governments have brainwashed you when forcefully jobless/persecuted....therefor­­e, I want you to think about "WAKE UP" when watching next time ALEX JONES = CIA)

    WHEN YOU WAKE UP, I WANT YOU TO WAKE TO YOURSELF AND NOT TO SOMEONE ELSE'S DREAM (ZIONIST/COMMUNIST/LIBERAL DREAM CATCHERS/THIEFS, WHO PLOTTED 911 TO WAKE YOU AFTERWARDS WITH ECONOMIC OPPRESSION IN A WORLD OF LIES !!!)

    HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TRUTH IS !!? WHATEVER YOU WERE BORN IS WHAT YOU ARE(truth therefore) AND FOR WHATEVER REASONS YOU HAVE CHANGED(distorted yourself) SINCE 9/11 IS WHAT YOU ARE NOT !!!

    IS IT INDEPENDENCE THAT WE CELEBRATE OR DEPENDENCE (what are your credit card bills or alimony saying about it) !!? HOW IS YOUR DIABETES AND LOST MARRIAGES !!? FORECLOSURES AND JOB SEARCH !!? THAT IS THE QUESTION TO BE OR NOT TO BE !!! IS IT LAND OF THE FREE OR STATE OF TERROR AGAINST OWN WHITE POPULATION !!? IT IS TIME TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT COLOR ARE THE STRIPES ON OUR STAR SPANGLED BANNER !!! TIME TO DETERMINE WHOSE INDEPENDENCE/AMERICA, WE CELEBRATE TODAY(who wants to erase us and denies us the right to exist) !!! IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHOM WE ADDRESS WITH "PRESIDENT" (STOP HUMILIATING YOURSELF) !!!

    YES , WE CAN..YES , WE CAN..WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive due to Afghanistan helicopter crash...thank you lord..aamen).

    Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ..YESSS, WE CAN....FISH CAN & TENT CITY USA CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES CAN(psycho Tucson)

    OS(B)AMA IS MOVING OUT OF AFGHAN FEW DAYS AFTER MY POSTING ONLINE(out of Iraq few months before elections) AND IS WILLING TO IMPROVE ECONOMY(genocide against whites) FEW MONTHS AHEAD OF ELECTIONS(what is the difference between temporary and permanent jobs in USA!!?) !!

    ALL THESE JUST SO YOU CAN CLICK AGAIN ON ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES WHICH CAN BE ALL CONTROLLED(AND ARE CONTROLLED OR COMPUTER OPERATED) FROM A SINGLE CELLULAR PHONE(for entire USA)...JUST SO YOU CAN CHOSE AGAIN BETWEEN WHATEVER WAS ALREADY CHOSEN FOR YOU TO CHOOSE FROM BY ZIONIST/JEWISH LOBBY IN WASHINGTON DC.

    Don't worry O(s)bama, you have just saved lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS(DEAD & ILL) as those America best (Navy Seals) would also grew older and then you already know how it goes !!!

    WAKE-UP !!! WAKE UP PEOPLE BEFORE IT GETS ALL TO LATE ON PLANET APE !!! TEARS WON'T DO YOU ANY GOOD !!! AS BUSH STATED "THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE PAID FOR"(to die ) !! STOP THE GOVERNMENT TERRORISM AND TERROR AGAINST WHITES WORLDWIDE IN THE NAME OF MULTYCULTURALISM OR NWO !!

    EVEN IF IRAQ WOULD BE WAR FOR OIL, VETERANS WOULDN'T NEVER EVER HAVE TO BE HOMELESS PEOPLE THE WAY THEY ARE AND NOR WOULD OUR PEOPLE DIE ALLOVER THE PLACE THEY DO AND TO VERY TODAY(never ending war story)...BECAUSE EVEN IF WAR WAS FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY, MONEY SHOULD BE USED FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS AND NOT WHAT THE CASE IS OR AGAINST WHITES(66 YEARS AFTER WWII, THEY HAVE EATEN YOU IN AND OUT LIKE IN GERMANY PRIOR TO WWII...all your sacrifice during WWII was for nothing and the worse is yet to come in America)...

    October 22, 2011 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
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    June 8, 2012 at 02:24 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.