District attorney Mattew Foster. Credit: Courtesy of Mattew Foster

Matthew Foster, the district attorney for Hancock and Washington counties who is seeking reelection this year, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“Fortunately, the 10-year average survival rate for my condition is greater than 98 percent,” Foster said. “I continue to work diligently and enthusiastically as your District Attorney.”

Foster, who lives in Hancock was first elected to the post in 2014, and is the only elected district attorney in Maine facing a contested race for reelection in November. Robert Granger, a criminal defense attorney from Blue Hill, is running against Foster in the general election as an independent.

Foster, 53, said Tuesday that he was diagnosed a couple of months ago, after a routine doctor’s visit revealed he had elevated prostate-specific antigen levels. Doctors found a tumor, performed a biopsy and determined it is malignant.

“I didn’t feel physically bad at all,” Foster said about the surprise diagnosis. “I feel fine now. I wouldn’t know I had a tumor without the diagnosis.”

Foster said he had outpatient surgery in Portland to treat the cancer, but the tumor is in Stage 3, which means it cannot be removed. He said the cancer has not spread to other surrounding tissues.

He’s receiving radiation therapy in Brewer, about a half-hour drive from his office, and is scheduled to have to increase his treatment to daily 30-minute sessions. But that’s not slowing him down. He intends to continue to serve as district attorney and supervise his office while receiving treatment.

“I don’t anticipate that it will be anything that prevents me from doing my work,” Foster said. “It is troubling. All I can do is follow the advice of my doctors and keep my spirits up.”

There is one other contested district attorney race in Maine. Neil McLean Jr., a Republican, is facing Democrat Edward Rabasco Jr. in Prosecutorial District 3, which comprises Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties. Andrew Robinson, the incumbent district attorney in that district, is not seeking reelection.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the town where Foster lives.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....