Former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is currently hospitalized at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, after receiving a devastating cancer diagnosis.
Reid underwent surgery Monday for pancreatic cancer, and is expected to begin chemotherapy soon. According to statistics, only 22% of men diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live more than a year. Only 4% live more than five years.
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer, the Nevada Democrat’s family announced on Monday.
Reid underwent surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, according to a family statement.
“His doctors caught the problem early during a routine screening, and his surgeons are confident that the surgery was a success and that the prognosis for his recovery is good,” Reid’s family said. “He will undergo chemotherapy as the next step in his treatment. He is now out of surgery, in good spirits and resting with his family.”
Reid, 78, is currently co-chair of the MGM Resorts International Public Policy Institute, along with former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). He’s also still in frequent contact with some Democratic senators and involved in day-to-day Nevada politics.
Reid left the Senate at the end of 2016 after serving for 30 years in the chamber, 12 of them as Democratic leader. He was succeeded by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Schumer said he had spoken to Reid’s family on Monday and that “it seems [Reid’s] operation went well.”
In 2015, Reid suffered a freak accident while exercising that led to the loss of vision in one eye, and he decided to retire shortly thereafter. Reid played a key role in getting Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) elected to succeed him, using his political machine to increase turnout among Democratic voters to beat Republican Joe Heck.
“Senator Reid is no stranger to a fight,” Cortez Masto said in a statement. “He beat his opponents in the boxing ring, took on the mob in Nevada, and moved bills in the Senate that no one believed could be done. He’ll beat cancer too. I wish him a speedy and successful recovery.”
Reid was majority leader for eight years, ushering through former President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda and confirming hundreds of his judges during his time running the Senate. Reid, a one-time boxer, was also a combative party leader, using the Senate floor to accuse 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney of not paying income taxes, to attack the Koch brothers and to tie Republicans to Donald Trump.