updated 10/3/2004 3:15:28 PM ET 2004-10-03T19:15:28

Sen. John Kerry’s doctors have told him he is cured of the prostate cancer that sidelined him almost two years ago and that there is a slim chance it could recur in the next decade, The New York Times said Sunday in a report based on interviews with the Democratic presidential nominee and several of his physicians.

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“I am cured,” the 60-year-old Kerry said in the interview last month. “I am cancer-free, and the percentages of me being cancer-free 10 years from now are about as good as they get.”

He characterized the cancer as a nonissue in the campaign against President Bush.

Kerry’s doctors said they told him he was cured, based on the results of an array of tests. They also have concluded he had a less than 3 percent chance of a recurrence in the next nine years. Even if the cancer came back, Kerry’s doctors and other experts said it could be treated without seriously interfering with Kerry’s presidential duties, should he be elected on Nov. 2.

“The likelihood that he is going to have a significant problem with this cancer is infinitesimally small,” said Dr. Patrick C. Walsh, the Johns Hopkins University urologist who removed Kerry’s entire prostate gland during surgery in February 2003.

Since then, blood tests performed at six month intervals have indicated no recurrence of cancer. The most recent test was done on Sept. 18 during a house call by Dr. Gerald J. Doyle, Kerry’s personal physician in Boston.

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