Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Senator Specter looks very ill

Expand Messages
  • Ram Lau
    Specter diagnosed with Hodgkin s disease Doctor: Chances of cure excellent for Senate judiciary chairman Wednesday, February 16, 2005 Posted: 7:00 PM EST
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 18, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Specter diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease
      Doctor: Chances of cure 'excellent' for Senate judiciary chairman

      Wednesday, February 16, 2005 Posted: 7:00 PM EST (0000 GMT)

      WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter
      has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease but intends to continue
      working during treatment, his office announced Wednesday.

      "I have beaten a brain tumor, bypass heart surgery and many tough
      political opponents, and I'm going to beat this, too," the
      Pennsylvania Republican said in a statement. "I have a lot more work
      to do for Pennsylvania and America."

      Specter's oncologist, Dr. John H. Glick, said the 75-year-old senator
      "has an excellent chance of being completely cured."

      Glick is a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and
      an expert in Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system also
      known as Hodgkin's lymphoma.

      "He is in superb physical condition, particularly in light of his
      daily squash regimen," Glick said in a statement. Approximately 7,500
      cases of Hodgkin's disease are diagnosed every year in the United
      States, and Glick said it has a five-year survival rate of 70 percent.

      Specter, who took over the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee in
      January, had experienced persistent fevers and enlarged lymph nodes
      under his left arm and above his left clavicle, his statement said.

      A biopsy of a lymph node carried out February 14 at Thomas Jefferson
      University Hospital in Philadelphia yielded a result positive for
      Hodgkin's disease, but a bone marrow biopsy showed no cancer, the
      statement said.

      Follow-up tests Wednesday at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson
      Cancer Center determined that he has "Stage IVB" Hodgkin's disease.

      For the next six to eight months, he is expected to undergo
      chemotherapy every two weeks at the center, during which time he is
      expected to "be able to perform all duties of his office, including
      those related to the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee," the
      statement said.
      Most advanced form

      Specter's form of the cancer is the most advanced, said Dr. Herman
      Kattlove, a hematologist-oncologist who works as a medical editor for
      the American Cancer Society.

      "But still, our success rate is quite good," he said.

      "Stage IV" means that the disease has spread outside the lymph system
      and is in another organ, he said. Specter's statement did not say
      which organ was involved.

      "B" means that the disease is accompanied by symptoms -- typically
      fevers and weight loss. The presence of symptoms also tends to worsen
      the prognosis, he said.

      Although Kattlove is not familiar with Specter's case, he said figures
      from the National Cancer Institute give a man of Specter's age and
      stage a 50 percent chance of surviving five years with the disease.

      But, he said, Specter's vigor and good physical condition could
      improve those odds.

      "I think he'll have a good outlook for the next few years," Kattlove
      said. "Whether or not he can be cured is up to luck and his health and
      good doctoring."

      Kattlove predicted that the senator's major problem while he undergoes
      chemotherapy will be fatigue.

      "If he were a bricklayer, I think he'd be out of work, but I think, as
      long as he keeps to a fairly limited routine, he should be able to
      perform well," he said.

      Each year, about 1,300 Americans die of Hodgkin's disease, according
      to the Mayo Clinic, but death rates have dropped by 60 percent since
      the 1970s.

      Specter, who supports a woman's right to have a legal abortion, came
      under fire from some Christian conservatives before his appointment as
      chairman of the Judiciary Committee. The chairman has broad powers to
      advance or hold up a president's judicial nominees. (Full story)

      Also a member of the appropriations and veteran's affairs committees,
      Specter lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Joan, a former four-term
      city councilwoman. They have two sons and four grandchildren.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.