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Sen. Specter says cancer has returned, doctors say prognosis good

Sen. Arlen Specter announced yesterday that the Hodgkin’s disease that he fought and beat in 2005, has returned.

Sen. Arlen Specter announced yesterday that the Hodgkin's disease that he fought and beat in 2005, has returned.

The recurrence was diagnosed based on a routine follow-up PET (Position Emissions Tomography) scan that showed small lymph nodes in his chest and abodmen. A biopsy of one of the nodes was positive for recurrence of Hodgkin's, a disease of the lymph system.

"I was surprised by the PET scan findings because I have been feeling so good," Specter said in a statement. "I consider this just another bump on the road to a successful recovery from Hodgkin's, from which I've been symptom free for 3 years."

"I've beaten some tough medical problems and tough political opponents and I expect to beat this too. I look forward to getting through this treatment and continuing to serve the people of Pennsylvania," Specter said.

The location of the recurrence and the absence of symptoms indicate the recurrence is significantly less advanced than the previous condition, his staff said.

Secter's oncologist, John H. Glick, of the Abrmason Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, said the senator "has an excellent chance of again achieving a complete remission of his Hodgkin's disease."

Senator Specter had successful surgery for a brain tumor in 1993, which recurred in 1996 and was successfully treated.  In 1998, in the middle of a re-election campaign, he underwent bypass surgery and post-operatively suffered cardiac arrest, from which he fully recovered.