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Cancer diagnosis ends Fisher's bid

"A diagnosis of prostate cancer has forced Tom Fisher to end his short-lived campaign for Island County Commissioner.The Clinton Democrat, 51, announced July 17 that he would run against two-term Republican incumbent Mike Shelton.But Fisher's priorities changed radically last Friday when he learned from his doctor that tests indicate he has prostate cancer.I had a bomb dropped on me on Friday. I have to have a little prostate surgery, Fisher, 51, said Tuesday morning. My doctor suggested that I have it sooner rather than later and I want to follow that advice.Fisher, the owner of a cabinet and furniture business, said he feels healthy and the prostate cancer diagnosis resulted from a routine physical examination. He had a biopsy done earlier last week in Everett and learned the results on Friday.The news came as a total surprise, as Fisher said there has been no prostate cancer in his family. There is now, he said. It came out of nowhere. I'm telling my brothers their chances are going up a lot.Fisher quickly ruled out running for political office while fighting prostate cancer. He said surgery is expected sometime in late August or September. Two weeks in Oak Harbor is not going to be enough to turn the tide, he quipped, alluding to the Democrats' weak point in Island County.Fisher made the same decision as another, much more famous politician. Rudolph Giuliani, mayor of New York City, dropped out of his U.S. Senate race against Hillary Clinton when he learned he had prostate cancer.Fisher said that from what he knows about the situation, Giuliani's cancer is a bit more advanced than his, and the mayor has opted for radiation treatment. Fisher's doctor thinks surgery can take care of his problem.It's early stages and the prognosis is very good but the timing is deplorable, Fisher said. I have a lot of letters to write. Those letters will be written to his political supporters, the number of whom he found surprising in the short time since he announced his candidacy. I got a lot of good feedback and the momentum was just taking hold, he said.As far as his future in politics is concerned, Fisher said he can't rule anything out.It wasn't a hasty decision. I've been thinking about it for years and I'm not going to stop thinking about it, he said.For now, Fisher is running a different kind of campaign -- he's encouraging men his age to be tested for prostate cancer. He feels fortunate that his was detected early. Just go and do it, he said. It's just a blood test."

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