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Rep. Steve Scalise diagnosed with multiple myeloma

Rep. Steve Scalise has been diagnosed with cancer.

The second-highest ranking House Republican announced Tuesday that he was battling multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.

“After a few days of not feeling like myself this past week, I had some blood work done,” Scalise wrote on Twitter. “I have now begun treatment, which will continue for the next several months.”

Scalise, 57, said he would continue working in Congress and serving as House Majority Leader while fighting the disease. The career politician has represented Louisiana’s 1st District since 2008.

“I am incredibly grateful we were able to detect this early and that this cancer is treatable,” Scalise wrote. “I am thankful for my excellent medical team, and with the help of God, support of my family, friends, colleagues, and constituents, I will tackle this with the same strength and energy as I have tackled past challenges.”

Those challenges include when Scalise was shot in the hip at the 2017 Congressional baseball game by a man who hated the Republican Party. He was hospitalized in critical condition but recovered.

Multiple myeloma is considered a treatable but incurable form of cancer. It affects plasma cells, which usually produce antibodies to fight disease. About 35,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with myeloma in 2023, according to estimates from the American Cancer Society. An estimated 12,000 Americans will die from the disease this year, according to the ACS.

“People now being diagnosed with myeloma may have a better outlook than these numbers show,” the organization says. “Treatments have improved over time, and these numbers are based on people who were diagnosed and treated at least 5 years earlier.”

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