House Majority Leader Steve Scalise reveals diagnosis of treatable form of blood cancer

 August 30, 2023

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) survived being shot by a radical leftist gunman several years ago but is now engaged in another fight for his life.

The Louisiana Republican revealed on Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer that he described as "very treatable," according to the Washington Examiner.

Scalise further shared his intention to return to the Capitol following the end of the August recess and continue working throughout the treatment period.

Diagnosed with cancer

"After a few days of not feeling like myself this past week, I had some blood work done. The results uncovered some irregularities and after undergoing additional tests, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a very treatable blood cancer," Rep. Scalise tweeted Tuesday morning.

"I have now begun treatment, which will continue for the next several months," he continued. "I expect to work through this period and intend to return to Washington, continuing my work as Majority Leader and serving the people of Louisiana’s First Congressional District."

Scalise added, "I am incredibly grateful we were able to detect this early and that this cancer is treatable. 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."

Words of support from House GOP leadership

In response to the news, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) issued a statement that said, "Steve is a dear friend, and anyone who knows him knows he’s a faith-filled fighter who can overcome any obstacle that stands in his way. I spoke with him today and he’s in good spirits, as nothing -- not a gunshot and certainly not cancer -- will stop him from accomplishing what he sets his mind to."

"House Republicans are proud to have the Legend from Louisiana as our Majority Leader," he added. "I wish him a speedy treatment as we continue to work together to get our country back on track and keep our Commitment to America. I invite everyone in the nation to keep Steve and his family in your prayers."

Also weighing in on the matter from the House Republican leadership team was House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), who retweeted Scalise's post and wrote, "There’s no one tougher than @SteveScalise. Our prayers are with Steve and his family and I have no doubt he will overcome adversity once again."

The Examiner noted that House Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern (R-OK) also issued a statement about the cancer diagnosis Scalise had received and said, "Steve has been a fighter his whole life. I know he will face this diagnosis head-on. Wishing him a quick recovery so we can have his voice back in DC."

What is multiple myeloma?

According to the American Cancer Society, multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that attacks blood plasma cells that are typically found in the bone marrow and play a key role in the human body's immune system and cause them to grow out of control.

The overabundance of plasma cells can result in low blood counts with regard to other cells in the blood like platelets and red and white cells and can also lead to the breakdown of bones and excessively high calcium levels.

This particular type of cancer can also lead to kidney problems and leave the body more susceptible to other forms of infection due to the negative impact on the immune system.

That said, there are a variety of different treatment options available for those who are diagnosed with multiple myeloma or other plasma cell disorders, ranging from drugs and radiation therapy to surgery and stem cell transplants, among other things, and has a five-year survival rate of around 60 percent.

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