Specter: Cancer Won’t Slow Me Down

Posted April 16, 2008 at 6:20pm

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said Wednesday that he plans to continue his Senatorial duties and seek re-election in 2010 despite his second bout with Hodgkin’s disease.

“This is another bump in the road. I’ve had a lot of bumps,” he said at a news conference.

Specter announced Tuesday night that after routine testing he had been diagnosed with a recurrence of Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer that affects the lymph nodes.

He will undergo 12 weeks of chemotherapy to treat the recurrence, which was described as significantly less serious than his bout with the disease in 2005, when he underwent six months of chemotherapy.

Specter said he will receive treatment once a week for the next three months, starting on April 25.

The diagnosis comes as Specter, as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, is playing a key role in advancing President Bush’s judicial nominees who have been stalled by Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) brokered a deal to move three of those nominees on Tuesday night. Specter was on the floor Wednesday talking about nominations.

Specter said the recurrence would not prove to be a disruption, particularly because he does not have the responsibility of setting the Judiciary Committee’s schedule.

The 78-year-old Senator cited his numerous illnesses, including a brain tumor, cardiac arrest and cancer, to show his endurance and vigor maintaining an active schedule. He insisted that he would be active and not distracted by his illness, and said he was surprised by the findings because he had been feeling healthy.