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Arlen Specter Confirms He Is Battling Cancer Again

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter confirmed today that he is facing a new battle with cancer.

Specter called the diagnosis "another battle I intend to win."

"I'm grateful for all the well wishes I've received. I'm looking forward to getting back to work, to the comedy stage, to the squash court and to the ballpark," Specter said.

A brief statement released today did not provide any details of the type of cancer or any course of treatment. Philly.com reported Monday that friends indicated the condition was particularly serious.

Specter has engaged in a variety of activities since leaving the Senate, including performing as a stand-up comedian and resuming legal practice.

The squash game has been a fixture in Specter's routine for decades. He would require the State Department to have squash courts ready for him during Congressional travel, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer profile.

He retired from the Senate at the end of the last Congress after a defeat in the 2010 Pennsylvania Democratic primary. Specter had been a Democrat before his time in public service but served most of his Senate career as a Republican.

Specter previously survived advanced Hodgkin's disease. He underwent chemotherapy while, as Judiciary chairman, he was managing the Supreme Court confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.

Earlier in his Senate career, Specter dealt with a brain tumor and a heart condition that required bypass surgery.

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