- The Washington Times - Friday, July 31, 2009

Five-term Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, a central player in President Obama’s health care and financial reform plans, has been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, an aide to the Senate said Friday.

Mr. Dodd, 65, is scheduled to undergo surgery during the Senate’s August recess and said he expects to be back at work after a “brief recuperation” at home, according to a report on the Web site of the Hartford Courant newspaper, which the aide confirmed as accurate.

“It’s something that’s very common among men my age,” the Democratic lawmaker was quoted as saying. “In fact, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during their life.”

Mr. Dodd said he feels fine and intends to run for re-election in 2010. Even before the news of the cancer, he faced a tough race, trailing a leading Republican challenger in the polls and dealing with personal ethical controversies as well.

As acting chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Mr. Dodd is one of the key players in the effort to overhaul the nation’s health care system. Mr. Dodd has stepped in to run the committee as Sen. Edward Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, battles brain cancer.

Mr. Dodd also chairs the Senate Banking Committee, with broad authority of regulatory reform and consumer issues.

Mr. Dodd is scheduled to hold a press conference this afternoon at 2 p.m. at his Hartford office, the aide said.

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