Klobuchar discloses breast cancer diagnosis, says treatment ‘went well’

WASHINGTON (thehill): Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on Thursday revealed that she was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer earlier this year and has successfully completed a course of radiation treatment.

The senator wrote in a Medium post that after radiation treatments in May, “and after additional follow-up visits, it was determined in August that the treatment went well.”

“Of course this has been scary at times, since cancer is the word all of us fear, but at this point my doctors believe that my chances of developing cancer again are no greater than the average person,” she added.

Klobuchar said that doctors first detected “small white spots called calcifications during a routine mammogram in February.”

“After this was discovered, I had a biopsy at Piper Breast Center in Minneapolis, and then learned that I had Stage 1A breast cancer,” she added, which according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation means that a tumor is no larger than 2 centimeters, and the cancer has not spread to other areas, such as the lymph nodes.

“I want to thank the incredible doctors and nurses I had the privilege to work with, my friends and loving family — including my husband John and daughter Abigail — for their support during the surgery and radiation, which also coincided with my dad’s illness and death,” she added.

Klobuchar’s father, Jim Klobuchar, died in May at the age of 93 following a years-long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Minnesota senator, who is the chair of the Senate Rules Committee, went on to “call attention to the fact that many people have been delaying physicals and routine examinations because of the pandemic.”

“I know that because I delayed mine,” she admitted. “In fact, more than one in three adults reported delaying or forgoing health care because of coronavirus-related concerns.”

Studies conducted by the Urban Institute researchers and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation earlier this year found that about 36 percent of U.S. adults have chosen to delay or go without medical treatment due to fears of being exposed to COVID-19.

Additionally, nearly 29 percent of parents cited similar reasons for delaying or going without medical care for their children under age 19.

“Over and over, doctors are seeing patients who are being treated for more serious conditions that could have been caught earlier,” Klobuchar noted Thursday.

The senator noted that with busy schedules, “There is rarely a good time to go in for a mammogram or routine health screening.”

“But I hope my experience is a reminder for everyone of the value of routine health checkups, exams, and follow-through,” she added. “I am so fortunate to have caught the cancer at an early enough stage and to not need chemotherapy or other extensive treatments, which unfortunately is not the case for so many others.”