SALT LAKE CITY – Former Sen. Bob Bennett announced Wednesday that he is battling pancreatic cancer.
Bennett, 81, posted on his Facebook page Wednesday that there have been inquiries concerning his health, leading him to confirm that he has cancer. He addedthere’s not a firm prognosis at this stage.
“The doctors are hopeful that a combination of chemotherapy and radiation can shrink the tumor to a point where it will become operable,” Bennett wrote.
Bennett served as one of Utah’s senators for 18 years before being ousted by Tea Party-favored candidate Mike Lee in the 2010 state GOP primaries.
After leaving the Senate, Bennett went on to become chairman of the Bennett Group, a consulting firm. He also became a registered lobbyist in 2013.
Bennett starts treatment at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, on Friday.
Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued the following statement in response to Bennett’s announcement:
I’m very saddened to learn of Sen. Bennett’s condition. Nearly all of us know someone who has battled cancer and we understand the challenge it presents for an individual and his loved ones. The Bob Bennett I know is a fighter and I have every reason to believe he will beat it.
Sen. Orrin Hatch also issued a statement. He said:
Elaine and I have been praying for Bob, his wife Joyce, and their family as they take up this challenge with love and dedication. Bob is a very good friend and I was deeply saddened to learn the news about his health. I have always admired that he is a fighter and I will do everything I can to support him in this fight.