Florida lawmaker diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

Florida lawmaker diagnosed with pancreatic cancer
© Greg Nash

Rep. Alcee HastingsAlcee (Judge) Lamar HastingsDemocrat unveils bill requiring banks to identify suspicious activity related to guns Ethics panel investigating Rep. Hastings over relationship with staffer The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment MORE (D-Fla.) on Monday announced that he was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, saying in a statement that he intends to continue representing Florida as he undergoes treatment.

Hastings said he is currently undergoing treatment for the cancer at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

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"I was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and in the midst of this traumatizing news, I found myself wondering not only if I would survive this disease, but also if it wold impact my ability to perform my duties," Hastings said in the statement.

"Now that I have begun treatment, I feel hopeful about survival and about my ability to continue serving my constituents of Florida’s 20th Congressional district and the nation," he continued.

Hastings, 82, joined Congress in 1993. He is currently the vice chairman of the House Rules Committee and the co-chairman of the Florida delegation.

Hastings became the longest-serving member of Florida’s congressional delegation following the departure of former Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonLobbying world Bottom Line Bottom Line MORE (D-Fla.). 

"My doctors have stated that the advancement in the treatment of cancer is evolutionary and the success rates continue to climb resulting in a dramatic decrease in the number of cancer-related deaths," Hastings wrote. 

"I have been convinced that this is a battle worth fighting, and my life is defined by fighting battles worth fighting," he wrote. "Should it become clear that this cancer which has invaded my body cannot be defeated, I will tell you so."

"I release this statement because I want to be the source providing you with this information," he concluded. "I ask for your prayers at this time."