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US Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan diagnosed with cancer: 'I am going to get through this'

Riley Beggin, The Detroit News on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., said Friday that he has been diagnosed with "a serious but curable form of cancer."

The six-term congressman went in to the doctor for a routine scan and discovered he had squamous cell carcinoma in one of his tonsils, he said.

He'll have surgery to remove the tumor in a few weeks and plans to take another few weeks off afterward in order to recover.

"I'm really fortunate to have caught it early and I'm especially fortunate that I have people around me... who are very supportive and are going to help me get through these difficult several weeks," Kildee said in a video posted to Facebook, adding that his office will remain open while he recovers from the procedure.

"It’s never easy to hear the words you have cancer. But I know that so many other families have gone through a cancer diagnosis," he said in a statement. "I am going to get through this. I’m going to beat cancer."


Kildee has represented the Flint area in Congress since 2012, when he succeeded his uncle Dale Kildee. He serves on the powerful Ways and Means committee and on the Budget committee in the House. He is also a part of the Democratic Party's leadership in the House, serving as co-chair of the Democrats' Steering and Policy Committee.

He has spearheaded efforts to foster domestic manufacturing, restore retirement benefits to Delphi retirees and combat toxic lead and PFAS "forever chemicals" in drinking water during his time in Congress.

His district, once a Democratic stronghold, has become more competitive after the 2020 redistricting cycle. He represents one of three districts in Michigan that Republicans aim to take back in 2024, along with the Grand Rapids-area seat held by Rep. Hillary Scholten and the Lansing-area seat held by Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who is running for Senate.

He most recently won re-election to House in 2022, when he defeated Republican challenger Paul Junge by more than 10 percentage points.

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