SALISBURY – Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver announced this week he has been diagnosed with liver cancer.
In an interview on Monday, Culver said he was recently diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of primary liver cancer.
“When they told me what I had, it floored me,” he said. “You could have knocked me over with a feather.”
Culver said his symptoms, including weight loss and fatigue, began a few weeks ago. He said testing revealed the cancer has spread to 70% of his liver.
“The doctors here have been great, but they have referred me to Johns Hopkins,” he said.
Culver said doctors explained to him that he contracted hepatitis B from a blood transfusion he received as a baby. According to the National Institutes of Health, hepatocellular carcinoma is closely associated with hepatitis B virus.
Culver explained he will visit Johns Hopkins Hospital in the coming days to meet with doctors and determine his treatment options.
“Right now, I feel good, I feel optimistic and I feel strong,” he said. “I’m going to beat this as best as I can. I’m not saying there won’t be a few bumps along the way though.”
Culver said he’s been amazed by the number of people who have reached out to him since revealing his cancer diagnosis.
“I can’t tell you how touched I am by the outpouring of support …,” he said. “It’s been overwhelming.”
Culver said he will continue in his role as county executive, but may need to cut back on his hours slightly as he contends with his diagnosis.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “I want to make the best of it. I’m remaining optimistic.”
Culver was first elected to the position of county executive in 2014, defeating incumbent Richard Pollitt. And in 2018, he secured a second term in office after defeating Democratic challenger John Hamilton and Independent challenger Jack Health.
Previously, he had served one term on the Wicomico County Council.