“Dr. Coburn underwent a procedure this week to treat an early stage incidence of prostate cancer,” Coburn spokesman John Hart said in a statement. “He is expected to make a full recovery and return to his full-time duties later this month.”
Coburn, 63, is a two-time cancer survivor. He was first diagnosed with melanoma in 1975, an experience that led to his decision to attend the University of Oklahoma Medical School, according to the Almanac of American Politics.
In 2003, Coburn was diagnosed with colon cancer; he also had surgery in 2007 for the removal of a benign pituitary tumor, according to the Almanac.
Coburn, a proponent of term limits who retired from the House in 2001 after serving three terms and was later elected to the Senate, has announced that he does not plan to run for a third Senate term in 2016.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) acknowledged Coburn’s surgery in remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday evening and said that “the junior senator from Oklahoma is expected to make a full recovery.”
“His cancer was in the early stages and he should be back to work in a few weeks,” Reid said. “Senator Coburn has battled cancer twice before, and he has beaten the disease twice before. Those of us who know Sen. Coburn know that he is a fighter.”
Reid added that “the entire senate community is pulling for” Coburn and his family.