Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota publicly revealed for the first time that she was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer earlier this year and has completed successful treatment.
“I wanted to share an update about my health,” she began a statement published on Medium Thursday morning. She said doctors discovered calcifications — small white spots — during a routine mammogram at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, a discovery requiring a biopsy that ended up revealing Stage 1A breast cancer.
Following additional tests and a lumpectomy to remove the cancer, Klobuchar underwent successful radiation treatment and is currently doing 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 said.
Members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation from both parties wished Klobuchar well. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, whose kidney cancer resurfaced two months ago, sent “prayers” and “best wishes” to the senator.
“Early detection and treatment of cancer provides the best chance to defeat it,” he said. “With the Lord’s help, we along with so many others, will beat this terrible disease.”
Klobuchar’s colleague Sen. Tina Smith, who has been friends with her long before they became senators, said she was “so grateful” that she is healthy.
And Rep. Tom Emmer tweeted, “Amy, congratulations on your recovery & thank you for speaking out!”
In her statement Klobuchar discussed the importance of not neglecting routine checkups and examinations during the pandemic, something she said she made the mistake of doing. Despite that, she was fortunate to catch the cancer early enough to not need extensive and physically taxing treatment.
“There is rarely a good time to go in for a mammogram or routine health screening. So many Americans are still juggling their children on their laps and their laptops on their desks. They are constantly balancing their families, their jobs, and their health,” she wrote. “It’s easy to put off health screenings, just like I did. But I hope my experience is a reminder for everyone of the value of routine health checkups, exams, and follow-through.”