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Takai to undergo surgery for pancreatic cancer

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U.S. Rep. Mark Takai confirmed today he has pancreatic cancer, and will undergo surgery at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland next week to remove a tumor in his pancreas. 

A spokesman for Takai said he expects the recovery time for the surgery will be “a couple of weeks.” 

“In an effort to keep my constituents in Hawaii’s First Congressional District updated, I want to let everyone know that I will undergo surgery to remove a small, cancerous tumor in my pancreas,” Takai said in a written statement. 

Takai consulted with his doctors in Hawaii and on the mainland, and “all tests show that the tumor is small and isolated. I am in good spirits and thankful that my prognosis remains good thanks to the early detection,” he said. 

“My family and I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, support and prayers. We ask for your continued prayers, support and respect for our privacy during this challenging time,” Takai concluded. 

Takai announced on Oct. 26 he had been diagnosed several days earlier with a small tumor on his pancreas after undergoing tests to determine why he had been experiencing some stomach pain. 

Takai, 48, was elected to his first term in Congress last year, and represents urban Oahu. 

Takai served in the state Legislature for 20 years before winning election last year to the U.S. House seat that was vacated by former Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Takai is an Iraq War veteran who deployed to the Middle East in 2009, and is a lieutenant colonel in the Hawaii Army National Guard who works for the Guard as a preventive medical officer. 

“My wife Sami and our entire family are grateful for your prayers and support. We ask for continued respect of our family’s privacy as we move forward with treatment,” Takai said in his statement. Takai has a son, Matthew, and a daughter named Kaila. 

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