Sen. Specter Hodgkin's Disease Returns
Pennsylvania Senator Will Get 12 Weeks of Chemotherapy for Relapse of Hodgkin's Disease
April 16, 2008 -- Sen. Arlen Specter's
Hodgkin's disease, first diagnosed in 2005, has returned, the senator has
Hodgkin's is a type of lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic
Specter (R-Pa.), who is 78 years old, says he will not disrupt Senate
activities because of the relapse, which will require 12 weeks of chemotherapy.
Specter also says he plans to run for re-election when his term expires in
The recurrence of his Hodgkin's disease was diagnosed after a routine
follow-up PET scan. The scan led to a biopsy, which showed evidence of disease
recurrence, according to a news release from Specter's Senate office. The
examination showed no cancer in Specter's bone marrow.
"I was surprised by the PET scan findings because I have been feeling so
good. I consider this just another bump on the road to a successful
recovery from Hodgkin's, from which I've been symptom-free for three
years," Specter says in the news release.
Specter has an "excellent chance" of complete remission of his
Hodgkin's disease, says John H. Glick, MD, the senator's oncologist, in the
"He is in superb physical condition, with a normal physical examination
and blood work, no symptoms of disease, plays squash regularly, and follows a
careful diet," says Glick, a professor of medicine at the Abramson Cancer
Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Specter underwent treatment after his first diagnosis of Hodgkin's disease
in 2005. He has had a series of serious health concerns throughout his career,
including surgery for a brain tumor in 1993 and a
recurrence of that tumor in 1996.
Specter also underwent cardiac bypass surgery during his re-election
campaign in 1998, which he won.
"I've beaten some tough medical problems and tough political opponents
and I expect to beat this too," Specter says in the statement.