Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee diagnosed with "serious but curable" cancer

Rep. Dan Kildee. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) announced Friday he has been diagnosed with a "serious but curable form of cancer."

Driving the news: In a statement, Kildee said he will have surgery to remove the cancer "in a few weeks," adding that "the prognosis after surgery and treatment is excellent."

  • Kildee, a co-chair of the Democrats' Steering and Policy Committee, said the surgery will result in his absence from the House, which has a narrow Republican majority, for several weeks afterwards.

What he's saying: “A few weeks ago, after consulting with my doctors, I scheduled what I thought was a preventive scan for a swollen lymph node. The results, it turns out, were more significant," Kildee said in the statement.

  • Doctors diagnosed Kildee with squamous cell carcinoma, he said. "Thankfully, I caught it very early. With early detection and great doctors, they found a very small tumor in one of my tonsils."
  • "I’m eager to have this chapter behind me and get back to work. But in the meantime, I’ll be away from the office for a period of time," he said.
  • He added that, in his absence, his congressional office "will remain open to serve the people of Michigan’s Eighth Congressional District."

The big picture: Several other House Democrats have been diagnosed with cancer in recent months.

  • Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the chair of the House Oversight Committee, announced in December that he had been diagnosed with Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma and would undergo chemotherapy.
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) said in February he "successfully" underwent surgery to remove gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors, a type of cancer that forms in the GI tract.

Background: A five-term congressman, Kildee was first elected in 2012 to a Flint, Michigan-based House seat vacated by his father, Dale Kildee, who served for more than 30 years.

  • Kildee has served in a number of different roles in Democratic leadership, including chief deputy whip in the last Congress.

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