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Sen. Frank Lautenberg diagnosed with cancer

Updated 3:10 p.m.
By Ben Pershing and David Brown
New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) has cancer and will begin receiving chemotherapy to treat it, his office announced Friday.

"After several days of hospitalization and testing, Senator Lautenberg's doctors have diagnosed that he has a B-Cell Lymphoma of the stomach," his office said in a statement. "This is a curable tumor, and will require treatment over the next few months."

Lautenberg's treatment means he will not be on hand Monday for a key procedural vote on the Senate, on Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) $15 billion jobs bill, Lautenberg's office confirmed.

B-cell lymphoma is more commonly known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer that starts in the body's lymphatic system, according to the American Cancer Society.

Lymphoma is a diverse and confusing family of cancers derived from lymphocytes, which are cells of the immune system. Most lymphomas, including Lautenberg's, arise from B-cells, which make infection-fighting antibodies.

While details of the senator's lymphoma (including ones bearing on his prognosis) aren't known, lymphomas in general are highly treatable and some are curable.

The statement from Lautenberg's office added that he is being treated by James F. Holland and Martin Goldman of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, and included a comment from Holland on his prognosis: "We expect a full and complete recovery for Senator Lautenberg. The Senator will be treated with chemotherapy administered approximately every three weeks. We anticipate that he will receive between six and eight treatments, and in between treatments, the Senator is expected to be back at work in the Senate."

Lautenberg was hospitalized Monday after falling in his Cliffside Park, N.J., home, and underwent surgery Tuesday for what was thought then to be a bleeding ulcer. At 86, Lautenberg is the second-oldest senator currently serving, behind only Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.).

Senate Democratic leaders will now have to consider Lautenberg's condition and his treatment schedule when they slot important bills for floor consideration. The party now has 59 votes, meaning that Democrats need all of their members present plus at least one Republican to invoke cloture.

Other lawmakers receiving cancer diagnoses have tried to balance their official duties with their treatments, with varying degrees of success, depending on the severity of their condition.

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) underwent chemotherapy in 2005 and again in 2008 for a different kind of lymphoma and brain cancer. He missed very little time in the Senate as a result. The late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), by contrast, returned to the Senate for only a few votes after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

Lautenberg served in the Senate from 1983 to 2001, and then returned to the chamber after replacing scandal-plagued Sen. Robert Torricelli (D) on the 2002 ballot. Lautenberg was reelected in 2008 and has said he plans to run again in 2014.

"This doesn't change any of that," Lautenberg aide Dan Katz told the Newark Star-Ledger following Lautenberg's diagnosis. "After he receives his treatment, back to normal."

Statistics kept by the National Cancer Institute show that, among white men over 65 with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 57 percent survived at least five years after they were diagnosed.

Some of the cancers found in the stomach are so-called "MALT lymphomas" that appear to be related to infection with the bacterium that causes most peptic ulcers. In some very early cases, the tumor can be controlled simply by treating the microbe, Helicobacter pylori, with antibiotics.

However, Lautenberg's office said he will get six to eight chemotherapy treatments spaced three weeks apart, so it seems unlikely his lymphoma fits that description.

If Lautenberg is forced to leave office, his interim successor would be appointed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who captured the statehouse in November following a high-profile contest. Before Christie was sworn in and mindful of Lautenberg's age, Democrats in the New Jersey legislature tried to take away a governor's power to appoint replacements, but their effort failed.

By Ben Pershing  |  February 19, 2010; 12:20 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Capitol Briefing  
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Comments

I thought I recognized your illiterate writing style from one of my fellow classmates at UT. Ah, yes, remember that day well. Fond memories from my days in Austin.

Posted by: FridayKnight | February 21, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

talk about being uninformed google Charles Whitman, you jerk. I was at UT and saw some of my fellow UT students gunned down when this happened, but you are too obsssesed with your TParty friends to know squat about US history, get an education before you come to a blog site and post your hate filled drivel, good by and good riddance.

Posted by: leichtman | February 20, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't know who Charles Whittman was, so I couldn't comment on whether I was fine with him, but if it is Charles Whitman you mean, then you show yourself to be a complete moron, because you also can't spell.

Posted by: FridayKnight | February 20, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I have asked the WP to ban your sick and inappropriate posts wishing death on all you disagree with. Truly sick.

As to banning possession of weapons from defendants convicted of misd FAMILY VIOLENCE assaults, great idea, for 10 years not for life. I represent defendents charged with family violence and understand the sentiment when you actually see what many are capable of. 100,000 police lost their jobs, right maybe millions. Don't want my police office hired on with a record of family violence much less carrying a gun. Sure your sentiment is for more assault weapons AK47s on the street to shoot bambies. Real Texans want guns in the hands of trained police with clean criminal backgrounds, not hoodlums, criminals and excons. I am sure you were just fine with Charles Whittman.

Posted by: leichtman | February 20, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Senator Lautenberg authored a piece of legislation he sneaked into a budget bill back in the 1990's, which Clinton signed, and which is know as the Domestic Gun Ban. Basically, anyone with a MISDEAMOR of domestic violence is banned from owning a firearm for life. (Not talking felonies, but misdemeanors. Pushing, shoving, shouting match stuff.)

Result? 100,000's of cops and soldiers lost their jobs because of this unconstitutional gun grab. Unconstitutional? Sure, you should not lose an instrinsic right, one of the Bill of Rights, to a misdemeanor offense. This would be like losing the First Amendment (free speech) to a misdemeanor.

Senator Lautenberg has cost America freedom and has brought the nation down a notch with his years of disservice. And while I might never wish a person physical ill health, I will say I hope he lives long enough to see his unconstitutional laws repealed.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | February 20, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Leichtman, no member of the GOP here, proud Democrat, I hope they all die and right quick, too, just like I hope you do, so don't lump me in with all those crazies.

Posted by: FridayKnight | February 20, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

the only scumbag around is the jerk that prays for a US Senator's and blogger's deaths. Those ultra extreme, radical, unAmerican sentiments by the GOP and their followers will be revealed and rejected by voters in Nov. When GOP bloggers joke about a US Senator's declining health and their newest US Senator mocks the loss of life in Austin and equates it with his own campaign, voters will come to understand that the GOP has not only become radical but radical nihilists.

Posted by: leichtman | February 20, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Is Lautenberg going to retire or is he going to die in office of cancer like Ted Kennedy?

Posted by: screwjob2 | February 19, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Off to bed, but before I do, my final prayer tonight will be that God takes this scumbag and that right quick.

Posted by: FridayKnight | February 19, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope that this condition forces him to leave office. He has done so many things that have robbed the people of their freedoms. He has one of the worst records of anyone when it comes to forcing his beliefs on others.

Posted by: gjdagis | February 19, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Obama said that we, as Americans, needed to re-think hip replacements - and that the elderly needed to accept their coming dmeise - or "elderly...go into the light."

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | February 19, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

To paraphrase Oliver Cromwell: Lautenberg has lived too long for any good that he has done, which is negligible anyway.

Posted by: FridayKnight | February 19, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

OK Renee lets play pretend.
Pretend that Sen Judd Gregg leaves office early b/c of health reasons and Governor John Lynch, D of New Hampshire, is authorized to make his temporary replacement until a special election is held.

Should Governor Lynch be allowed to:

1. Appoint anywone he wants R or D?
or
2.Be required to appoint a R of his choosing until a special election is held.

You see the game works both ways and its wrong for a D Governor to choose a D Senator to replace a R Senator like Gregg just as it would be for Gov Christie to choose a R to replace a D which we all know he would and the DNC would say nothing.

my guess: New Hampshire Rs would be livid if Lynch replaced Gregg with a D and I am certain that we would be hearing tyrades from Steele if that were to happen, especially if that Senator ends up being the 60th or 50th vote in the US Senate.

Posted by: leichtman | February 19, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

tee he he; what are you 10 years old?

By the way the State Legislature decides how Senators are replaced. Its another broken system that Rs would love to exploit. If a R Senator dies or is incapitated they should be replaced with a R; the same if its a D Senator until a special election is held. We understand that Rs think that the electoral system is a game for them to manipulate. Sorry, its not.

Posted by: leichtman | February 19, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

-------------------------------------
Well isn't it interesting that it was the DEMS trying to make the change...when they feared it might be a Republican Governor....and more tee he he... I say...the Dems propects are looking more bleak every waking minute...now let's add a double tee he he, and STILL wishing this gentleman a speedy recovery.

Posted by: ReneesOpinion | February 19, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I hope the senator makes a full and speedy recovery. Best wishes to him and his family!

Signed.....a Christian, libertarian independent.

Posted by: hit4cycle | February 19, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

tee he he; what are you 10 years old?

By the way the State Legislature decides how Senators are replaced. Its another broken system that Rs would love to exploit. If a R Senator dies or is incapitated they should be replaced with a R; the same if its a D Senator until a special election is held. We understand that Rs think that the electoral system is a game for them to manipulate. Sorry, its not.

Posted by: leichtman | February 19, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I wish the Senator the best but look at how devious the Dems are. They were trying to take away the Governor's ability to appoint a replacement. My, my how the fortunes of the Dems continues to change. Hope and change we can count on...tee hee, tee hee.

Posted by: ReneesOpinion | February 19, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

curious why the WP is tolerating the hatefilled posts here today. Where has common manners and civility gone to? Are these examples of the good Christian values that the GOP now espouses?

Posted by: leichtman | February 19, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Plan to. In fact, I am stepping into my airplane right now for a nice, relaxing, stress-reducing, problem-resolving flight. Be sure to look up. I will wave at you when I am coming in.

Posted by: FridayKnight | February 19, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to disappoint you, Friday, but I never wished for the deaths of Dumbya and Dick, just their quick retirement from public life. Unlike jackasses like you, Bozo, I don't get my kicks praying for the demise of people I don't like. Or waste much time arguing with the likes of you and others who do. Have a nice day.

Posted by: Donzinho | February 19, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Cornell1984, a truly classy comment by you regarding the senator. Despite wanting him out of office, you wish him success in fighting the disease. Perhaps we can all start feeling this way and start working together for a better, more prosperous America. A really good place to start would be the house and senate of the USA.

Posted by: gvelanis | February 19, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

donzhino wrote:

I'm sure Jesus loves your attitudes. "Scumbag lifestyle Nazi"? Where do you people come with this crap?

__________________________________

Where do we get it? Probably from reading all the posts over the last eight years from jackasses like you wishing for George Bush and Dick Cheney's deaths. What goes around comes around, bozo.

Posted by: FridayKnight | February 19, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

FridayKnight and JERRYB1:
I'm sure Jesus loves your attitudes. "Scumbag lifestyle Nazi"? Where do you people come with this crap? The Post is way too indulgent with you bunch of hate-filled wingnuts.

Posted by: Donzinho | February 19, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I wish the Senator the best. How fortunate he is to have health care to discover the problem early and have the opportunity to treat the problem. I am sure the good man took this into consider while working on health care reform for the rest of us. I have had a growth in my abdomen for six years. At $1200 just for the scan to find out what it is makes it purely unaffordable to even begin the process of getting care. That is twice my monthly rent. I have worked since I was 13 years old and only had health care once for a few years while I was employed at an insurance company. Two college degrees later and at fifty I still find myself on the outside of the elites. But I am told that once whatever it is starts bleeding or throws me to the ground in pain I can be accepted at an emergency ward regardless of whether I am private pay or not. Thank God for America!

Posted by: TRS5501 | February 19, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I wish him the best, but at his age, he's playing with house money.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | February 19, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

It is an ugly disease. He will get great medical care because he has access to great private health insurance. He is also known to be in great phsysical shape, so this will help him in fighting this disease. I hope he recovers and returns to finish his term. While I want him thrown out of office, it should be done in an election ore retirement. Best wishes on a speedy recovery. New Jersey needs some fresh, moderates to represent the state. Let the old liberals retire.

It is bad karma to wish bad health on people. Good health, Senator Lautenberg.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | February 19, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Lautenberg has never met a gun he did not want to ban, nor a speed limit he did not want to lower.

Die, scumbag lifestyle Nazi, and the sooner the better.

Posted by: JERRYB1 | February 19, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse


-- Good heavens! Take it easy. He's no Teddy Kennedy, who surely feared meeting his maker.

You're right. Lautenberg is worse than Kennedy ever was. I hope he dies a quick, though extremely painful, death. Wouldn't mind it too much for you, either.

Posted by: FridayKnight | February 19, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Lymphoma....that's a bad one!

Posted by: iphony | February 19, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Lautenberg has never met a gun he did not want to ban, nor a speed limit he did not want to lower.

Die, scumbag lifestyle Nazi, and the sooner the better.

Posted by: JERRYB1 | February 19, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse


-- Good heavens! Take it easy. He's no Teddy Kennedy, who surely feared meeting his maker.

Posted by: enaughton27 | February 19, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Alas! Get better soon.

-- A Republican.

Posted by: enaughton27 | February 19, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes to Senator Lautenberg. But now my rant.

Why do these old Representatives and Senators think they are necessary to preserve the stability of the political world? Why don't they ride off into the lucrative book writing and speech giving sunset when they reach say sixty five or seventy years of age? Power as aphrodisiac for their waning egotistical strutting? Now is the time for many more aging Congressional warriors to bid us adieu. Read a book, write a book, play soccer with your grandchildren, buy a sailboat, relax, give it a rest, give us a break.

Posted by: LHO39 | February 19, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Lautenberg has never met a gun he did not want to ban, nor a speed limit he did not want to lower.

Die, scumbag lifestyle Nazi, and the sooner the better.

Posted by: JERRYB1 | February 19, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

curious why we did not hear calls for age limits when Strom Thurmond was around. Wonder why?

Posted by: leichtman | February 19, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

the previous post is disgusting, plain and simple. Not humorous at all, but disgusting.

Posted by: leichtman | February 19, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry he's sick but they need term limits or an age cap in Congress.

Posted by: FLvet | February 19, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

To quote the Bard, "Sir, I shall like to hear news such as this once every hour!" Die soon, scumbag.

Posted by: FridayKnight | February 19, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

a senator that cannot vote due to health problems should be able to name a proxy until s/he returns to health.

Posted by: e9999999 | February 19, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Enter Sen. Lou Dobbs.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | February 19, 2010 1:03 PM |

*****

Followed by a Facebook petition for the Boss to run.

Posted by: dkp01 | February 19, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes to the Senator for a complete recovery.
At the age of 86 with the energy to continue working, this is a man to be admired.

Posted by: pjcafe | February 19, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Lymphoma of the stomach is NOT stomach cancer--different diseases, different treatments. Sloppy reporting.

Posted by: taishan1 | February 19, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Enter Sen. Lou Dobbs.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | February 19, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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