U.S. Sen. Angus King has resumed treatment for residual prostate cancer, but he’s expected to make a full recovery and his schedule won’t be affected, his office announced Friday.

The independent senator, who was re-elected to a second term in November, was first diagnosed in 2015. He underwent surgery to remove his prostate before the cancer spread and has been seeing his doctor regularly to monitor antigen levels. It was during a recent visit that his doctor detected a slight elevation in his levels. After tests confirmed that the cancer was contained in the prostate area only, King opted for treatment.

The 74-year-old began an eight-week round of radiation this week at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

“This is a 5-day-a-week radiation treatment that will take about 20 minutes each morning until mid-March,” King said in a statement. “What it means for my work in the Senate? Absolutely nothing. I have been assured by my doctors, as recently as (Friday) morning, that I will remain healthy through my current Senate term and beyond. I don’t expect to miss a single vote, hearing, or constituent meeting. What it means for weekly flights to home? Well, instead of taking the late flight out of Washington, D.C., on Thursday nights, you’ll see me on the midmorning Friday flights.”

Prostate cancer is among the most common cancers in American men. The American Cancer Society says about one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

King said he’s not worried about the latest news.


“For many of you, cancer treatment is scary to hear, but in this case, it’s more like maintenance. I’ve been taking care of myself and following doctor’s orders. I’m not worried and you shouldn’t be either,” he said.

His Senate colleague from Maine, Susan Collins, wrote on Twitter that she was sorry about the news.

“His attitude is upbeat and the prognosis is excellent,” Collins wrote. “Knowing Angus, this won’t slow him down a bit! I look forward to our continued work together.”

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, who also has served with King for the last six-plus years, wrote that “cancer had met its match in King.”

“Mainers are standing with him over the next eight weeks,” she said.

King was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, succeeding Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe. Before that, he served two terms as Maine’s governor, from 1995 to 2003.

When he was diagnosed in 2015, he revealed that he had an early skin cancer scare in the 1970s when he was in his early 30s. Then and now, he said, early detection made a major difference.

“Once again, I’m one of the lucky ones. If it weren’t for insurance – through the ACA – and a great team of doctors, I’m not so sure I’d have this story to tell,” he said in Friday’s statement, referring to the Affordable Care Act. “For so many Maine people, even regular checkups can be a hardship. It shouldn’t have to be that way. For far too long, many in Washington have treated healthcare like it’s some sort of privilege that can be revoked from those who are too poor or sick. It’s not a privilege, it’s a prerequisite for all Americans seeking happy, healthy, productive lives. Ensuring everyone has access to affordable healthcare isn’t a radical idea, it’s a compassionate one. And as long as I represent Maine in the Senate, I will continue to do my part to make sure everyone with a story like mine has access to treatment like mine too.”

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