NJ Sen. Lautenberg says lymphoma `gone'
MAPLEWOOD, N.J. - June 28, 2010 -- Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who became the Senate's oldest member when Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia died Monday, has announced that he is cancer-free.
Lautenberg made the announcement Saturday at the Garden State Equality Legends Dinner in Maplewood. The 86-year-old Democrat told the gay rights group that his doctor said to him Friday: "It's gone, Frank."
Lautenberg was hospitalized Feb. 15 after falling at his New Jersey home. He was treated for a bleeding ulcer, and it was announced Feb. 19 that B-cell lymphoma was found in his stomach.
Lautenberg began chemotherapy treatment and returned to the Senate on March 2. He became the Senate's oldest member after the death of the 92-year-old Byrd on Monday morning.
The liberal Lautenberg became prominent as a founder of the payroll services company Automatic Data Processing long before he entered politics in 1982 with a successful run for the U.S. Senate.
He served three terms before retiring from politics in 2000, but returned two years later as a last-minute replacement in a Senate race when Sen. Robert Torricelli dropped out. He was re-elected in 2008, winning easily in a race in which his age never materialized as a major issue.
Lautenberg is a major supporter of gun control and a big critic of the tobacco industry. He's also active in transportation issues. Hecriticized the Transportation Security Administration over a disruptive security breach at Newark Liberty International Airport in January.
Lymphoma is an immune system cancer, and the B-cell form is a type of the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that strikes more than 65,000 people in the U.S. annually. There are multiple subtypes of the B-cell form, with widely varying treatments and prognoses. Lymphomas can strike in lymph tissue anywhere in the body, such as the lymph nodes - and the stomach contains lymphoid tissue.
sen. frank lautenberg, new jersey, cancer, local/state
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