(CNSNews.com) - New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani announced Thursday he was diagnosed with prostate cancer two weeks ago and said his response to treatment will determine the future of his potential Senate race against Democratic rival First Lady Hillary Clinton.
Asked how the disease will affect his plans for the New York Senate race, Giuliani said, "The answer is, I don't know the answer to that yet. I hope that I'd be able to run, but the choice that I'm going to make is going to be based on the treatment that's going to give me the best chance to have a complete cure."
Giuliani made the announcement at a press conference Thursday morning, calling his condition "treatable" since it was diagnosed at an early stage.
National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Stuart Roy said GOP leaders are hopeful that Giuliani will continue his senatorial bid despite of a burdensome condition.
"We are hopeful that the mayor will make a full recovery," Roy told CNSNews.com. "This is an event that makes you realize what is important in life. However, the campaign is proceeding just as it was before the announcement."
Campaign officials said the mayor is still on track to make appearances in Saratoga tomorrow, Buffalo on Saturday and then on to Syracuse and Rochester for "Law Day" events, a series of locally sponsored events honoring the law.
On Wednesday, Giuliani will participate in a town hall meeting with MSNBC's Hardball With Chris Matthews.
The 55 year-old mayor, known as a fierce political campaigner, remained upbeat and jovial during today's announcement. Asked whether such a condition, life-threatening in many cases, would make him a kinder candidate, Giuliani said, "No way."
Such announcements are typically made when patients have decided on what treatments they will seek, Giuliani said. In his case, the mayor is waiting until he consults with doctors to weigh the various treatment options before making any additional plans regarding the campaign.
Clinton campaign officials released a statement today from the first lady regarding her opponent's announcement.
"Like all New Yorkers, my prayers and best wishes are with the mayor for a full and speedy recovery and I hope that everyone joins me in wishing him well," said Clinton who is reportedly campaigning in the Upstate where the latest poll numbers indicate she is falling behind the Giuliani.
A survey among 1005 likely Upstate voters conducted April 15 - 19 by Colgate University and Zogby International, has Giuliani leading Clinton 51.9 to 38.3 percentage points.
The joint polling was the first in a series of three surveys to be conducted on the attitudes, values, lifestyles and political viewpoints of Upstate New York voters, according to Zogby. The second will be conducted in August.
After learning that a reporter knew he was seeking further diagnosis, the mayor made the announcement today.
Giuliani said the diagnosis was revealed through a routine physical during which a PSA blood test revealed positive indications of prostate cancer. A biopsy revealed that several samples were malignant. He said the disease is contained to its specific area.
The PSA test reveals elevated levels of the protein called prostate-specific antigen. Approximately 75 percent of men with prostate cancer have elevated levels of PSA.
Giuliani's father died of prostate cancer in 1981, before the development of many of the tests and treatments available today his aides said.