House Majority Leader Scalise diagnosed with multiple myeloma

August 29, 2023

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) revealed Tuesday that he’s been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a “very treatable” blood cancer.

In a statement, 57-year-old Scalise said, “After a few days of not feeling like myself this past week, I had some blood work done. The results uncovered some irregularities and after undergoing additional tests, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.”

He said he’s already begun treatment which will continue for the next several months, during which he expects to work and return to Washington to serve as Majority Leader and the constituents of Louisiana’s first Congressional district.

In October 2017, Scalise returned to Capitol Hill after overcoming a near-fatal shooting during a Congressional baseball practice in June. He reportedly had come close to bleeding out on the field, but a fellow member of Congress, Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), a veteran Afghan combat doctor, immediately began treating him by applying a tourniquet to the wound.

According to the Mayo Clinic, multiple myeloma forms in the blood’s plasma cells which make antibodies and fight germs in healthy people. But cancerous plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow to crowd out healthy blood cells and produce abnormal proteins that can cause complications.

Treatment isn’t always required right away, especially if the myeloma is slow growing, notes the Mayo Clinic. 

Scalise in his statement said that he is “incredibly grateful we were able to detect this early and that this cancer is treatable,” adding that he will “tackle this with the same strength and energy as I have tackled past challenges.”

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