U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono announced this morning that she has been diagnosed with kidney cancer and is undergoing treatment at a Washington hospital.
The Hawaii Democrat released a statement saying she expects to make a full recovery. She said an abnormality was detected in a recent chest X-ray, and she was later diagnosed with kidney cancer, which was also present in a rib.
Her treatment at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital will include surgery to remove her right kidney and an outpatient procedure “to eradicate the lesion on my rib.”
“At the conclusion of this treatment, there will be no identifiable disease left untreated. My doctor expects I will make a full recovery from these treatments,” Hirono, 69, said in the statement. “I will continue working during my recovery, and look forward to returning to the Senate as soon as possible,” she said.
Fellow Hawaii Democrat, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said in a statement, “I join all of Hawaii in wishing Sen. Hirono a rapid recovery. Mazie’s courage and fortitude are matched only by her love for our state and people. I look forward to continuing to work together with Mazie on the issues that reflect our Hawaii values and priorities.”
In a separate email to supporters, Hirono also said she plans to run for re-election in 2018. “The stakes are too high and our shared values are under attack like never before,” she said in the email.
Hirono, who was elected to the Senate in 2012, has taken a higher-profile role in Washington this year as an opponent of some of the Trump administration’s policies and actions.
As a Japanese immigrant, Hirono has been particularly vocal against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States from six Muslim-majority countries. The order is being challenged in federal court and has not been implemented.
Hirono is a former congresswoman and was lieutenant governor from 1994 to 2002 under Gov. Ben Cayetano.
Here is the text of Hirono’s full announcement on her diagnosis:
“During a routine pre-operative physical for my eye surgery, my doctor discovered an abnormality on my chest x-ray. After a series of follow up tests, I have been diagnosed with kidney cancer that is also present in my seventh rib.
“My treatment is being overseen by one of the preeminent kidney cancer specialists in the country at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. He has designed a comprehensive treatment plan – including surgery to remove my right kidney and an innovative, non-invasive, outpatient procedure called Cyberknife to eradicate the lesion on my rib. At the conclusion of this treatment, there will be no identifiable disease left untreated. My doctor expects I will make a full recovery from these treatments.
“I will continue working during my recovery, and look forward to returning to the Senate as soon as possible.
“I face this fight with the same determination I’ve fought for the people of Hawaii. And I never quit, especially when things get tough.
“I appreciate your support and good wishes, and look forward to getting back to the Senate to continue fighting for Hawaii as soon as possible.”