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Characterizing it as a “temporary, yet serious health issue,” Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr., D-Ga., announced a recent cancer diagnosis to his constituents and colleagues on Friday.

“During the summer, I noticed a small lump in my neck near my shirt collar,” Sanford said in a statement. “My doctors conducted some diagnostic tests and discovered that the lump was a lymph node that was involved with a cancer that started in my throat. Last month, I began a course of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor that will be followed by a surgery to remove any that remains.”

Sanford said his doctors at the George Washington University Hospital determined the cancer was limited to his neck.

“They are optimistic that this tumor will be cured and my therapy will conclude in the next few months. While this is a serious health condition, my faith in God and confidence in my medical team in Washington, and at home, make me equally optimistic,” he said.

Sanford, 66, has served in Congress since 1993. He says he does not expect to be away from his duties for more than a “brief period.”

“My wife, Vivian, and our entire family thank you for your prayers and support as we move through this period of treatment and recovery.”

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