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Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, 79, announces stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis

Rep. John Lewis (Getty Images)

Rep. John Lewis

ATLANTA — Civil rights icon and U.S. Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, his office announced Sunday, Dec. 29.

Lewis, 79, will undergo treatment for it, his office said.

“I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” Lewis said in a statement. “This month in a routine medical visit, and subsequent tests, doctors discovered Stage IV pancreatic cancer. This diagnosis has been reconfirmed. While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance.”

The long-serving Democrat has represented Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, which includes much of Atlanta, since first being elected in 1986.

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