updated 12/4/2006 2:59:54 PM ET 2006-12-04T19:59:54

Sen. Craig Thomas returned to work Monday, about a month earlier than originally planned, after undergoing treatment for leukemia.

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"I'm glad to be back," the Wyoming Republican said in a telephone interview from his office in Washington.

Thomas, 73, was released Saturday from Bethesda National Naval Medical Center. He began treatment for leukemia on Nov. 9.

An early return
Thomas had said previously he didn't expect to return to the Senate until January.

Thomas won re-election last month to a third term while he was in the hospital, easily beating Democrat Dale Groutage with 70 percent of the vote.

Thomas said he continues taking medication and undergoing tests. "I think I'm through with the major treatment," he said.

Thomas was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, the most common form the cancer of the blood and bone marrow. More than 11,900 new cases of AML are diagnosed in the United States each year, according to the National Marrow Donor Program.

Dr. Brian Monahan, director of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the National Naval Medical Center, has said that most people with Thomas' physical condition and general health survive the cancer.

Thomas was first elected to the Senate in 1994 after serving five years in the U.S. House. He is chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Parks, Historic Preservation and Recreation.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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