US Lawmaker Reveals She Has Cancer

US Lawmaker Reveals She Has Cancer

( – Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) has served in Congress for nearly 30 years. She attempted to become Houston’s mayor last year but lost in a landslide in a runoff election to State Senator John Whitmire. She’s now made another announcement.

On Sunday, June 2, Jackson Lee disclosed that doctors had diagnosed her with pancreatic cancer. However, she was quick to let her constituents know that her illness would not affect her office’s work. She acknowledged that “it is likely that [she] will be occasionally absent from Congress” as she undergoes treatment but that her “office will continue to deliver the vital constituent services that [they] deserve and respect.” Jackson Lee said she will work with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to ensure she is present for legislative votes.

Jackson Lee did not reveal what type of treatment she was undergoing or how advanced the cancer was. However, this particular type often goes undetected until it’s advanced — and large — enough to press on the spine and cause pain and other symptoms. She expressed her confidence in her medical team and said they had “developed the best possible plan” to help her beat it.

Pancreatic cancer is considered relatively rare, with fewer than 200,000 cases per year. It affects the glandular organ between the spine and stomach. “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought the same type of cancer. There are multiple treatment regimes as well, including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

This instance isn’t the first time doctors have diagnosed the lawmaker with cancer. In 2012, Lee revealed to the public that her medical team had treated her for breast cancer. She underwent surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy and beat the disease into remission. That led her to drive congressional work to help fund breast cancer research.

She has asked people to keep her in their prayers as she undergoes treatment.

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