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307 Dirksen Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Statement from the Office of U.S. Senator Craig Thomas:
November 9th, 2006 - U.S. Senator Craig Thomas today announced that he has been diagnosed this week with a form of leukemia. Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. AML is the most common type of leukemia. More than 16,500 new cases occur in the United States each year.
Thomas had experienced energy losses over the last few weeks and was diagnosed with pneumonia Sunday. Further tests Sunday indicated low white cell levels, explaining the pneumonia but not the source of the blood cell anomaly. In preparation of Monday votes and party leadership elections on Nov. 15, Thomas flew to Washington DC to pursue further blood testing this week.
Thomas received a complete workup of tests this week at Bethesda National Naval Medical Center including a bone marrow biopsy, which revealed the diagnosis. Doctors recommended that Thomas begin treatment immediately.
Thomas told his family Wednesday and made this announcement after a call with his staff Thursday morning.
Doctors placed Thomas on induction chemotherapy. The treatments will occur over a four- to six-week period during which Thomas, who risks infection with a low white cell blood count, will remain in the Bethesda hospital to prevent possible infections. The goal of induction chemotherapy is to bring the disease into remission followed by consolidation chemotherapy to kill any remaining leukemia cells.
It is expected that Thomas will be able to perform all duties of his office following treatment.
Dr. Brian Monahan, Director of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the National Naval Medical Center said, “The majority of people with Craig’s great physical condition and general health attain remission.”
Thomas said he's strong and ready to take on this challenge just as he has every other battle -- with grit and determination. “I am joining all of the thousands and thousands of other cancer survivors in Wyoming. I certainly didn't expect this diagnosis, but I will be back by the January session ready for full service in the new Congress. Susan and I thank you for all of your good wishes,” Thomas said.
Those wishing to contact Thomas can do so by e-mailing him from his e-mail web form on his web site or by calling any of his state offices who will convey messages to Thomas. Please send correspondence only and not flowers or other gifts. Those numbers and addresses are available on this web site.