WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jim Hagedorn, a first-term Minnesota Republican, announced he has been sick with stage 4 kidney cancer since February 2019 and plans to continue working in Congress.
Hagedorn revealed the diagnosis Wednesday and said the disease was detected before he exhibited any symptoms during a routine physical exam.
For most cancers, stages are ranked from numbers 1 through 4. Stage 4 is the highest and means the cancer is more advanced than the others, according to the American Cancer Society.
"Exactly two months after marrying my wife, Jennifer, and just six weeks into my job as the First District's Congressman, I was given unexpected and rather shocking news," Hagedorn said in a statement. "Just like millions of other Americans, I was told by my doctor: you have cancer. After prayers and long talks with those closest to me, I was determined to fight it like hell."
He has received treatment, including immunotherapy, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment designed to help one's immune system mitigate the disease and is a type of biological therapy, which uses substances from living organisms to treat cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
"I am also grateful for the regimen of immunotherapy, recently approved by the FDA as a treatment for kidney cancer. Guided by the Good Lord's healing hands, the treatments are helping my body's immune system identify and kill the cancer cells," Hagedorn said.
In a video posted on his official website Hagedorn said, "I'm happy to report that I'm feeling great. I've continued to do my job in Congress unimpeded and have not missed even a single vote due to treatment."
Hagedorn's doctor, cancer specialist Lance Pagliaro, said in a statement that Hagedorn "has responded well to immunotherapy, which has been key to his recovery. He is doing well."
(c)2020 CQ-Roll Call, Inc., All Rights Reserved
Visit CQ Roll Call at www.rollcall.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.