Lautenberg has cancer, will begin chemo today

86-year-old U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg has stomach cancer and begins chemotherapy today, his office announced.

Lautenberg was diagnosed with a B-Cell Lymphoma of the stomach after several days of testing, his office said, noting that is its a curable tumor that will require treatment over the next few months.

“We expect a full and complete recovery for Senator Lautenberg. The senator will be treated with chemotherapy administered approximately every three weeks. We anticipate that he will receive between six and eight treatments, and in between treatments, the senator is expected to be back at work in the Senate,” said Dr. James Holland, Lautenberg’s oncologist, in a statement released by the Senate office.

Lautenberg was taken by ambulance to a New York hospital Monday night after falling in his Cliffside Park home.  An endoscopy revealed a bleeding ulcer caused by lymphoma.

Comments on Lautenberg’s illness:

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez:

“Frank Lautenberg is my friend and partner in the Senate, and if there’s one thing I know about him, it’s that he is New Jersey tough. Between his strength and his doctor’s statements, I am confident that he won’t miss a beat in continuing his crucial work in the Senate. My thoughts and prayers are with Senator Lautenberg, and I look forward to fighting for New Jersey families together with him for years to come.”

Senate President Stephen Sweeney:

“Everyone knows that Frank Lautenberg is a fighter in the truest sense of the word, and if there’s someone who will not back down in the face of cancer, it’s him.  I wish the Senator well as he takes on what will be his most important battle. And, considering the man, I know this is another fight he will handily win.”

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver:

“One thing we all know for sure about Sen. Lautenberg is that he’s a tough guy who never backs down from a fight, so we have no reason to expect anything but a full and complete recovery.  As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be too surprised to soon hear how he’s once again outpacing younger aides as they walk through U.S. Capitol building. After all, nothing has ever been able to hold Sen. Lautenberg down. On behalf of the General Assembly, I wish Sen. Lautenberg well and look forward to seeing him return to the job he has done so well.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell:

“Like so many people today, I am deeply saddened by the news of Senator Lautenberg’s illness. He and his wife, Bonnie, are in my prayers as they face this challenge together,” said Pascrell, who ran for re-election with Lautenberg in 2008. “Frank Lautenberg is a proven fighter who has never shied away from an unexpected challenge. As a fellow native Patersonian, I consider Frank to be my brother. I look forward to the day when Frank and I will continue working together for the people we serve in New Jersey.”

Democratic State Chairman John Wisniewski:

“On behalf of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee we wish Senator Frank Lautenberg a speedy recovery.  We know that every single day he has served as Senator he has been fighting for us. Our experience working with Senator Lautenberg reassures us that he will take on this fight with the tenacity and relentlessness he brings to every battle, and as usual, he will be victorious and back to work on behalf of all of us.”