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California governor says cancer treatment over, "rarin' to go"

California Governor Jerry Brown speaks during the opening ceremony of the Space Shuttle Endeavour Exhibition at the California Science Cente
California Governor Jerry Brown speaks during the opening ceremony of the Space Shuttle Endeavour Exhibition at the California Science Cente

SACRAMENTO (Reuters) - California's Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, who has been undergoing a course of radiotherapy for early-stage prostate cancer, said on Tuesday that he had completed his treatment and was "rarin' to go."

Brown, 74, announced that his treatments were finished during a press conference in Sacramento on prison overcrowding.

Asked if he was feeling better after the treatment, Brown drew laughter when he held out his arms and said, "You choose."

"I'm ready. I'm rarin' to go," Brown said. "Don't expect me to leave too soon."

The completion of Brown's cancer treatment comes as the California Legislature reconvenes for a new session following an election that gave Democrats a supermajority in both houses - the first time any party has had such a grip on the legislature in 79 years.

Brown has been riding a string of successes in recent months. Voters in November approved a tax hike he championed, while soundly rejecting a measure he opposed that would have gutted union political power.

He also oversaw approval of a high-speed rail project and has been reining in an unwieldy budget deficit that has plagued California for years.

In announcing the cancer treatments in December, Brown's office had described his prognosis for recovery as excellent and said he would to keep up a full work schedule.

Dr. Eric Small, an oncologist treating the governor, had called it an early-stage, localized prostate cancer.

Brown had a cancerous growth removed from the right side of his nose in April 2011, followed by reconstructive surgery.

He became one of the youngest governors of California when he took office in 1975 at age 36, going on to serve two consecutive terms. He later returned to that office in 2011 and is now the oldest governor the state has ever had.

(Reporting by Greg Lucas and Dan Whitcomb; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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