House Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced that he has started undergoing treatment for blood cancer. The Republican lawmaker from Louisiana revealed that he has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, describing it as “very treatable.”
“After a few days of not feeling like myself this past week, I had some blood work done. The results uncovered some irregularities and after undergoing additional tests, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a very treatable blood cancer,” Scalise noted on social media.
“I have now begun treatment, which will continue for the next several months. I expect to work through this period and intend to return to Washington, continuing my work as Majority Leader and serving the people of Louisiana’s First Congressional District,” he continued. “I am incredibly grateful we were able to detect this early and that this cancer is treatable. I am thankful for my excellent medical team, and with the help of God, support of my family, friends, colleagues, and constituents, I will tackle this with the same strength and energy as I have tackled past challenges.”
Scalise survived after being shot when a gunman opened fire at a practice for a congressional baseball game in 2017.
“Multiple myeloma is a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Healthy plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “In multiple myeloma, cancerous plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and crowd out healthy blood cells. Rather than produce helpful antibodies, the cancer cells produce abnormal proteins that can cause complications.”
In response to the congressman’s announcement about his cancer diagnosis, many lawmakers expressed their support and indicated that they would pray for him.
“Steve is a fighter and statesman. @KelleyAshbyPaul and I are sending our thoughts and prayers as he tackles this next challenge,” GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky wrote.
“Heidi and I will keep you and your family in our prayers, that the ‘God of all comfort who comforts us in all our affliction’ will be with you during this challenging time,” GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas posted.
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