Congressman Sanford Bishop, 66, has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment for a tumor in his throat since last month, he announced Friday.
Bishop, the U.S. Representative for Georgia's second district, said he noticed a small lump in his neck this summer.
"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," he said in the statement. "Last month, I began a course of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor that will be followed by a surgery to remove any that remains. “My doctors at the George Washington University Hospital, near the Capitol, carefully searched for other areas of my body that might be involved and found that it was limited to my 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."
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Bishop, a native of Mobile, Ala., began his political career in 1977, with his election to the Georgia House of Representatives. He served on the state level through 1992, the last two years in the Georgia Senate, before setting his sights on a U.S. House seat.
An attorney, he is married to Vivian Creighton Bishop, who serves as the clerk of the Municipal Court of Columbus.
“I do not expect to be away from my duties for more than a brief period and look forward to continuing my ministry of public service to the people of the 2nd District as your Representative, now and for years to come," he said. “My wife, Vivian, and our entire family thank you for your prayers and support as we move through this period of treatment and recovery.”
Bishop was reelected to the Second Congressional District, which includes Columbus, last November.
The Democrat has long been a champion of Fort Benning and its growth, particularly during the most recent Base Realignment and Closure process that led to the U.S. Army Armor School relocating from Fort Knox to the local post. His district also includes the U.S. Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany.