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Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee reveals she has pancreatic cancer

"The road ahead will not be easy, but I stand in faith that God will strengthen me,” said the Texas Democrat.
Sheila Jackson Lee
Posted at 9:38 AM, Jun 03, 2024

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee revealed she has pancreatic cancer.

The Texas Democrat posted a statement on X on Sunday night.

"My adult life has been defined by my faith in God, my love for humanity and my commitment to public service. As a member of Congress, I've been honored to be one of the leaders in the fight for justice and equality for all; especially the disadvantaged and the dispossessed. Today, my fight is more personal, but I will approach it with the same faith and the same courage,” her statement began.

"I am confident that my doctors have developed the best possible plan to target my specific disease. The road ahead will not be easy, but I stand in faith that God will strengthen me,” Jackson Lee said.

The 74-year-old said she is currently undergoing treatment for the disease.

The American Cancer Society estimates that over 66,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year. The organization projects nearly 52,000 will die from it in 2024.

Jackson Lee said while she may need some time away, she will continue her work in office as she fights the disease. She has served 15 terms in Congress.

"To the constituents of the 18th Congressional District: Serving as your representative in Congress for 30 years is one of my greatest honors. Your hopes and aspirations inspire my efforts on behalf of our community every day. As I pursue my treatments, it is likely that I will be occasionally absent from Congress, but rest assured my office will continue to deliver the vital constituent services that you deserve and expect,” she said.

"I am committed to working with our Congressional Leadership including Leader Hakeem Jeffries and the Speaker of House to serve this nation and be present for votes on legislation that is critical for the prosperity and security of the American people. By God's grace, I will be back at full strength soon,” said Jackson Lee.

Treatment plans for pancreatic cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other therapies.

The American Cancer Society says the average lifetime risk for pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 56 for men and 1 in 60 for women.