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April 11, 2007

Fred Thompson Has Cancer, But In Remission

Sounds kind of bad, but then Rudy's had prostate cancer and McCain's had skin cancer.

Fred Thompson, the potential presidential candidate better known as television's gruff "Law & Order" district attorney, said Wednesday he was diagnosed with lymphoma more than two years ago but the cancer shouldn't affect his life expectancy.

In an interview with Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto, the former Tennessee senator, 64, said a doctor conducting a physical in 2004 found a bump on his neck, which turned out to be non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He said the disease is in remission with no illness or symptoms, and it won't affect his decision about whether to seek the Republican nomination.

"I wouldn't be doing this if I wasn't satisfied in my own mind as to the nature of it and the fact that not only will I have an average lifespan but in the meantime I will not be affected in anyway by it," Thompson said. "Now of course nobody knows the future but that has been in the history for almost three years now in terms of no symptoms and no sickness."'

Thompson's physician, Dr. Bruce Cheson, hematology chief at Georgetown University Hospital, said the prognosis is good.

"Some lymphomas are very aggressive, but people with slow-growing types, like Senator Thompson's, more often die from natural causes associated with old age, rather than from the disease," Cheson said in a statement.

Thompson's disclosure comes just weeks after Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, revealed that her cancer had returned. White House spokesman Tony Snow recently underwent surgery for cancer that had spread to his liver.

Over at Red State, which seems overwhelmed by a Drudge link, he says the cancer will not affect his decision whether or not to run for president.

shortly after a routine physical, I was diagnosed with what the doctors call an indolent lymphoma. Of the 30-plus kinds of lymphoma this is a "good" kind, if there is such a thing.

I have had no illness from it, or even any symptoms. My life expectancy should not be affected. I am in remission, and it is very treatable with drugs if treatment is needed in the future--and with no debilitating side effects.

Well, maybe. But it might affect a lot of people's decision to support him. Unlike McCain and Giuliani, who at least have, for the moment, been deemed cured, he seems to have this for life. It may be the slow-growing kind, but who knows.

I wish him well and still think he's a very strong candidate. But it's a concern, not just for him but for the country should he be elected.


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posted by Ace at 01:08 PM

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