Former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and underwent surgery Monday to remove the tumor, his family announced.
Reid, who led the Senate Democratic Caucus for a dozen years until his retirement in early 2017, had the surgery at Johns Hopkins Cancer Center in Baltimore, and now plans to have chemotherapy treatments, according to the statement from his family on Monday.
“His doctors caught the problem early during a routine screening and his surgeons are confident that the surgery was a success and that the prognosis for his recovery is good,” the Reid family said. “He is now out of surgery, in good spirits and resting with his family. He is grateful to his highly skilled team of doctors and to all who have sent and continue to send their love and support.”
Reid, 78, has spent most of his time in retirement in Las Vegas and has traveled to Washington just a handful of times, according to a person familiar with his travels. He, along with former House speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, serves as a co-chair of the MGM Resorts International Public Policy Institute at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and he also is a fellow at the university’s law school.
The former majority leader announced that he would retire after three decades in the Senate in early 2015. Reid was succeeded in his Nevada Senate seat by Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, and as leader of Senate Democrats by New York Sen. Charles Schumer.
Schumer tweeted Monday afternoon that he has spoken to Reid’s family, and “it seems @SenatorReid’s operation went well. We are all praying for dear Harry’s speedy recovery.”
“Senator Reid is no stranger to a fight. He beat his opponents in the boxing ring, took on the mob in Nevada, and moved bills in the Senate that no one believed could be done,” Cortez Masto said. “He’ll beat cancer too. I wish him a speedy and successful recovery.”
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