Rep. Steve Scalise, No. 2 House Republican, Says He Has Blood Cancer

Consultant Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana and the bulk chief, mentioned Tuesday he had been identified with a uncommon type of blood most cancers however deliberate to return to Washington to proceed working as he undergoes remedy over the following a number of months.

Mr. Scalise, 57, mentioned in a press release that he had begun remedy for a number of myeloma, which he described as “a very treatable blood cancer,” after feeling ailing over the August congressional recess and having exams that led to his prognosis.

It got here at a important second for Mr. Scalise, who is thought for his skill to talk to the hard-right faction of the fractured Republican convention and has a pivotal position to play within the Home within the coming months, with Congress dealing with the opportunity of a authorities shutdown on Oct. 1. Lawmakers stay removed from reaching any settlement on spending ranges that will preserve the federal government working on a long-term foundation. The Home left Washington final month for a six-week summer time recess nowhere close to a deal on 11 of the 12 appropriations payments that also should be handed, hamstrung by inner divisions over spending and social points.

Mr. Scalise, who beforehand served because the Republican whip, is anticipated to play a vital position in negotiating with members of the ultraconservative Home Freedom Caucus, who’re threatening to drive a shutdown until their priorities are addressed.

The prognosis was solely the most recent setback for Mr. Scalise, who was gravely wounded in 2017 when a gunman opened fireplace on members of the Republican congressional baseball staff at a observe discipline in Alexandria, Va. He was shot within the hip and underwent many surgical procedures to relearn the way to stroll, regaining nearly full mobility.

“I am incredibly grateful we were able to detect this early and that this cancer is treatable,” Mr. Scalise mentioned in a press release on Tuesday. “I will tackle this with the same strength and energy as I have tackled past challenges.”

Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who has had a strained relationship with Mr. Scalise, mentioned in a press release that he had spoken together with his No. 2 on Tuesday and located him to be in good spirits.

“Nothing — not a gunshot wound and certainly not cancer — will stop him from accomplishing what he sets his mind to,” Mr. McCarthy, the California Republican, mentioned in a press release.

In a number of myeloma, sure wholesome blood cells change into cancerous, throwing off irregular proteins that may trigger issues and crowding out cells wanted to struggle infections.

A comparatively unusual most cancers, it’s estimated to be identified in about 35,000 individuals in the US yearly, extra usually affecting males and Black individuals. About 60 % of sufferers identified with a number of myeloma in recent times survived the consequences of their most cancers for at the very least 5 years, although the survival charge relies on how far the most cancers has unfold.

Sufferers can face extra frequent infections and bone and kidney issues, however there are a selection of remedy choices that rely upon how shortly the most cancers is rising. These embrace immunotherapy, which helps the physique’s immune system assault most cancers cells, chemotherapy and corticosteroids.

Some sufferers are additionally candidates for a stem cell transplant. Drug remedy is first used to cut back the variety of cancerous cells within the physique after which unhealthy blood-forming stem cells are changed by wholesome ones.

On Tuesday, Republicans have been fast to supply Mr. Scalise their public help and spotlight his resilience.

“Steve is as tough and kind as they come, and he has beaten so many unbeatable odds,” Consultant Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, mentioned in a press release. “We know he will fight this next battle with that same resolve.”

“Steve is a fighter, and we stand with him as he enters this latest battle,” Consultant Patrick T. McHenry, Republican of North Carolina, mentioned in a press release.

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