Sen. Christopher Dodd, the five-term Connecticut Democrat who is a key player in U.S. health care reform, has been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, he announced Friday.
Dodd, who is 65, told a news conference at his Hartford office that the cancer was discovered six weeks ago during an annual physical. "Im very confident that we're going to come out of this well," he said, according to The New York Times. "I feel fine. This is very common. If you've got to have cancer, I am told by some doctors, it's the slowest growing, the best one to have, the most manageable."
Dodd said that he would have surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City during the upcoming Senate recess and that he would take a few weeks to recuperate at home.
"I'm going to be fine," he added. "We caught this early, and I look forward to going out on the trail."
Dodd's surgery and recovery aren't seen as affecting his campaign for re-election next year, The Times reported. Dodd is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, but he is currently at the center of the battle over health care, as acting chairman of the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee for Sen. Edward Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who is fighting brain cancer.