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Norm Coleman announces he has cancer

ST. PAUL -- Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman has throat cancer.

Coleman posted on his Facebook page Monday morning that he is being treated by doctors at Mayo Clinic and in the Twin Cities.

"It is clear that my cancer, while serious, is very treatable and the prognosis is extremely positive," he said.

Within minutes of the posting, friends began reacting, wishing him good luck.

"Praying for you, my friend," Peter Hong wrote. "God is indeed good and watches over you."

Coleman said that he experienced "a prolonged sore threat," then found a lump on his neck. "My doctor ordered an immediate biopsy, which confirmed the cancer. Subsequent tests show that it is isolated to a portion of my neck and my tonsil."

The Democrat-turned-Republican former senator, St. Paul mayor and governor candidate said that he will undergo a series of treatments to aggressively fight the cancer over the next several weeks.

"I will continue to live my life, enjoy my family, go to my cabin, do my work, stay involved in politics and public policy and be a husband and a dad," Coleman promised.

He said no further information is likely to be released soon because "I am still processing all of it."

Coleman, 66, gave advice to others who have found a lump or otherwise something is wrong with their body: "Go to your doctor. Have it checked out. Don’t delay. Today’s medicine and technology and treatment can and will make a difference in your life -- the quality of your life -- and the length of your life. It’s not too late for it to not be too late."

He began his Facebook post by quoting David Ben-Gurion, who one time said that "anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist.”

He said that he has his share of miracles.

"I’ve won a Senate election victory over a former vice president (Walter Mondale) and been re-elected mayor as a Republican in Democrat stronghold city. I've also been defeated at the polls in two of the most public races in political history in Minnesota."

Coleman beat Mondale in 2002, days after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in an airplane accident. Coleman and Wellstone were locked in a tight battle, polls showed.

He lost re-election six years later to Al Franken after a months-long recount.

In recent years, the Brooklyn, New York, native has been involved in several political organizations.

He and his wife Laurie, have two children in their 20s.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.