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The Associated Press

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Follow-up tests show that former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson does not have prostate cancer.

“We sure are relieved,” his brother, Pete Simpson, said Thursday from Cody. “It’s been a roller-coaster ride for everybody there for a while.”

A routine physical earlier this month at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota detected cancer in the Republican from Cody who served 18 years in the Senate before leaving in 1996. Simpson has regular tests for prostate cancer.

He underwent more thorough testing at the M.D. Anderson Clinic in Houston this week that conclusively showed Simpson’s prostate gland to be free of cancer, said Lori Rosen, Simpson’s aide in Washington.

Simpson is “thrilled that he’s OK” and “pretty delighted with life” after the diagnosis reversal, Rosen told the Casper Star-Tribune Washington bureau.

Pete Simpson said his brother would have to undergo further checkups as a precaution.

Alan Simpson was at a Bohemian retreat in California and was unavailable for comment.

Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., who served with Simpson in Congress for nearly eight years, said he was “delighted” that Simpson was cancer free.

“I was so proud of him for following through” on the diagnosis publicly and calling for men 50 and over to undergo regular prostate testing, Thomas said. “I’m really pleased.”

Simpson, who will be 70 on Sept. 3, urges all men age 50 and older to get tested for prostate cancer on a regular basis.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 198,100 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. One man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only one in 30 will die of the disease.

In 1998, the most recent year numbers are available, 32,203 died of prostate cancer, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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