UPDATE: Arlen Specter's office confirmed Tuesday morning that the former U.S. Senator is once again fighting cancer. "I am battling cancer, and it's another battle I intend to win," Specter said in a statement issued by his office. "I am grateful for the well wishes I have received and I am looking forward to getting back to work, to the comedy stage, the squash court and the ballpark," says Specter, an avid Phillies fan.
We reported what follows below on Monday afternoon...
Arlen Specter has been hospitalized with a serious illness, confirm friends of the longtime U.S. Senator. One asked that people keep him in thoughts and prayers.
Specter, 82, announced in 2005 that he had Hodgkin’s disease for which he underwent chemotherapy. His cancer returned and he was treated again in 2008.
Friends declined to comment Monday afternoon on the nature of his illness.
Specter had been scheduled to appear as a surprise guest and perform a comedy set at last Wednesday’s Stu Bykofsky Candidates Comedy Night but his secretary cancelled his long-booked appearance several days earlier, Bykofsky confirms, adding that Specter’s assistant referred to the cancellation as “personal.”
“I’m sorry I can’t provide any information to that effect, you’ll have to ask somebody else,” replied a woman who answered the phone at Specter’s office Monday when asked if she could confirm that Specter was in the hospital.
Specter’s son, attorney Shanin Specter, promptly retured our email Monday, but declined to comment for this report.