The diagnosis of multiple myeloma in Congressman Scalise has spurred a wave of support from both sides of the political spectrum. Multiple myeloma is a form of blood cancer that forms in a kind of white blood cell called a plasma cell, according to the Mayo Clinic. The plasma cells, which help in fighting infections by producing antibodies, multiply and release an abnormal protein into the blood and bones, crowding out healthy blood cells.
Scalise's treatment plan, details of which were not disclosed, is likely to involve a combination of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplant. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 34,920 new cases of multiple myeloma will be diagnosed in the United States in 2022.
Scalise, a stalwart conservative who has served in Congress since 2008, is well-respected within the Republican Party. As House Majority Whip, the third-ranking position in the House of Representatives, he wields significant influence within the party.
Despite the diagnosis, Scalise remains optimistic about his prognosis. He echoes the sentiments of many who have faced similar diagnoses, using a language of resilience and determination. "I am firmly committed to overcoming this challenge," said Scalise. "I appreciate your prayers and kind words, and look forward to continuing to work on behalf of the American people."
Scalise's determination and resilience, as well as his commitment to public service, have drawn widespread admiration across political lines. His diagnosis serves as a reminder of the personal struggles faced by those in public service and underscores the importance of health care access and early detection in the fight against cancer.
"We're all pulling for you, Steve," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in a statement. "Your strength and courage are an inspiration to us all. We pray for your swift recovery and return to the House."