As if things weren’t bad enough for poor ole Chris Dodd, the senior senator from Connecticut today at a press conference at 2pm in Hartford, Connecticut is expected to announce that he has early stage prostate cancer. The Banking Committee Chairman and defacto chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in Ted Kennedy’s absence will undergo a procedure and be laid up two-to-three weeks. Doctors caught the cancer early, though, and he is likely to make a full recovery. And, no, this is not expected to affect his race for reelection next year.
From Dodd’s press conference:
Dodd says that he got some irregular results back from his annual physical in June and had a series of follow up tests where a biopsy revealed prostate cancer. Since then he’s been reading books and consulting friends and colleagues, including Saxby Chambliss, John Kerry and Richard Shelby, who have been through the same thing.
“This is a very common form of cancer, one out of six males if they live long enough are diagnosed with this cancer,” Dodd said. “I’m gonna be fine in August. They caught this early.”
Dodd will have his prostate removed at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York the week after next and will spend much of the recess working a light schedule from home. “I like to think if this is how many hours you put in with cancer I can’t imagine what you’ll do when you’re cancer free,” said his wife, Jackie Dodd, at the press conference.
Preempting the first question, Chris Dodd interjected with a laugh: “Yes, I’m running! I’ll be a little leaner and a little meaner, but I’m running.”
Dodd emphasized how lucky he is to have a health care plan that includes an annual physical to catch early problems like these – something he hopes every American will soon have when Congress passes health care reform. “The benefit of being in Congress and having a health care plan that is not available to everyone. One of the things that we’ve been fighting for and continue to fight for is to get national health care passed.”