BREAKING: Sen. Dodd Diagnosed With Cancer (UPDATED)

The Hartford Courant has the exclusive:

U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd has been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer.

Dodd is scheduled to undergo surgery during the Senate’s August recess and said he expects to be back at work after a “brief recuperation” at home.

“It’s something that’s very common among men my age,” said Dodd, who is 65 and the father of two young daughters. “In fact, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during their life.” Dodd, a Democrat who is up for re-election in November 2010, said he feels fine. “As you have probably noticed, I’m working some long and hard hours lately,” he said. “And that will continue.”

Dodd, a Democrat, said he feels fine and intends to run for re-election in November 2010. “As you have probably noticed, I’m working some long and hard hours lately,” he said. “And that will continue.”

[Emphasis mine]

Our thoughts and prayers are with Sen. Dodd and his family.

I’m loath to politicize this, but I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t note that, as a member of Congress, Sen. Dodd will receive top-notch treatment for his cancer–treatment that tens of millions of Americans would not receive if they were given the same diagnosis.

Sen. Dodd is one of the good guys on health care reform, but I hope that his fellow members of Congress–particularly the Blue Dogs and conservative Democrats–will remember that we help pay for their health care when they get sick; the least they can do for us in return is to pass substantive, meaningful health care reform.

UPDATE: Below the fold…

On that note, here’s a letter Sen. Dodd has been circulating this morning:

Dear Friend,

I wanted to let you know that I’ve been diagnosed with an early stage of prostate cancer.

This diagnosis is very common among men my age. In fact, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during their life.

Luckily, a routine test allowed my doctor to catch it at a very early stage, and my prognosis is excellent – we expect a full and speedy recovery.

I want to assure you that I’m feeling fine. As you know, we’ve been working hard to pass health care legislation and reform our nation’s financial system to protect consumers, and that hard work will continue.

After the Senate adjourns at the end of next week, I’ll have surgery to remove the cancer. After a week or two of recuperation, I expect to be right back to work.

After all, as a Member of Congress, I have great health insurance. I was able to get screened, seek the opinions of highly skilled doctors, consider all the available options, and choose the treatment that was right for me.

And I know you’ll agree that every American deserves the same ability.

We have health care legislation to pass – and an election to win. And I can’t thank you enough for your support.

Sincerely,

Chris

[Emphasis mine]

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