Arlen Specter, former senator, battling cancer


Former US Sen. Arlen Specter (pictured in 2010) was hospitalized while battling cancer on August 28, 2012.


Alex Wong

Former US Senator Arlen Specter has been hospitalized after a serious form of cancer was recently detected, according to Politico.

A source told Politico that Specter had difficulty breathing two months ago and a tumor was found in his stomach area, pressing against his lungs.

Specter confirmed that he was battling cancer, issuing a statement through his Philadelphia office, according to the Associated Press, though his family spokesman refused to confirm the type of cancer or his hospitalization.

The former senator from Pennsylvania said, "I'm battling cancer. It's another battle I intend to win. I'm grateful for all the well wishes I've received. I'm looking forward to getting back to work, to the comedy stage, to the squash court and to the ballpark."

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CNN noted that Specter has overcome other serious illnesses in the past decades, including a brain tumor and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. A source told CNN that he had a "big flareup" of the disease on Monday night.

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Specter served as Pennsylvania's senator from 1980 to 2011, switching from the Republican party to the Democratic party in 2009.

Since the end of his Senate career, Specter relaunched his legal career, wrote a memoir and appeared at Philadelphia comedy clubs, according to The Washington Post.