WHIPPANY, N.J. (New Jersey Jewish News) — U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg has begun a series of chemotherapy treatments for stomach cancer being called "curable."
Doctors at at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Feb. 19 said the 86-year-old Lautenberg (D-N.J.) had a “curable” B-cell lymphoma of the stomach.
On Tuesday, Lautenberg’s press secretary, Caley Gray, told The New Jersey Jewish News that Lautenberg will not need to have surgery.
“He is in good spirits,” Gray said, “but we do not know when he will be released from the hospital. That is the big question right now.”
One of his physicians, Dr. James Holland, said that "We expect a full and complete recovery for Senator Lautenberg.”
Jewish community leaders were wishing Lautenberg, the senior senator from New Jersey, a speedy recovery.
“Our thoughts and good wishes are certainly with him,” said Stanley Stone, executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey. “We will watch very carefully and hope he will be able to return to work soon.”
Stone praised the senator for being “a strong advocate for Israel and a champion of immigrant rights, particularly with Soviet Jews. He was clearly able to break through red tape to have a number of immigrant families reunified. And he has always been in the forefront of trying to see that the Jewish community gets its fair share of governmental dollars, particularly in terms of our naturally occurring retirement communities.”
Lautenberg, who is serving his fourth term, was first elected in 1982. Prior to that he was chairman and CEO of Automatic Data Processing, the computing and payroll giant, and served as general chair of national United Jewish Appeal.
On Feb. 15 he felt light-headed and fell in his Cliffside Park home. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he spent the night. He was treated for a bleeding ulcer, and doctors discovered a tumor.