New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg has stomach cancer.
His office released a statement this morning addressing the news today after he was taken to the hospital Monday night after becoming lightheaded and falling at his Cliffside Park home.
"After several days of hospitalization and testing, Senator Lautenberg’s doctors have diagnosed that he has a B-Cell Lymphoma of the stomach," the statement from Lautenberg's office said. " This is a curable tumor, and will require treatment over the next few months."
His doctor predicted that Lautenberg, the nation's second oldest senator at 86, will make a "full recovery."
"We expect a full and complete recovery for Senator Lautenberg," Dr. James Holland said in a statement. "The Senator will be treated with chemotherapy administered approximately every three weeks. We anticipate that he will receive between six and eight treatments, and in between treatments, the Senator is expected to be back at work in the Senate.”
The 86-year-old Democrat, the first New Jersey senator to be elected to five terms, returned just last Friday from a trip to Haiti with a congressional delegation. He was scheduled to discuss the trip and the U.S. aid effort for the island nation, which is recovering from a devastating earthquake, at a news conference on Tuesday.
Lautenberg was first elected to the Senate in 1982. He retired in 2000 but was called back in 2002 as a late replacement for Sen. Robert Torricelli, who abandoned his re-election bid amid an ethics controversy five weeks before Election Day.
The Paterson-born Lautenberg first came to prominence as chairman of Automatic Data Processing, a payroll services company he founded with two friends in 1952.
A liberal, Lautenberg has been a staunch gun control advocate and critic of the tobacco industry. He wrote laws to ban smoking on domestic airline flights and to institute a national minimum drinking age of 21.
Recently, he has been back in the spotlight as a critic of the Transportation Security Administration after a January security breach at Newark Liberty International Airport. He also was active in the effort to end an international custody dispute involving the son of Tinton Falls, N.J., resident David Goldman.