Image: Frank Lautenberg
Tim Larsen  /  AP
Sen. Frank Lautenberg's doctor, Dr. James F. Holland, said in a statement, 'We expect a full and complete recovery' for the 86-year-old lawmaker.
NBC News and
updated 2/19/2010 12:21:40 PM ET 2010-02-19T17:21:40

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, 86, has been diagnosed with stomach cancer, according to his office.

"After several days of hospitalization and testing, Senator Lautenberg's doctors have diagnosed that he has a B-Cell Lymphoma of the stomach," a Lautenberg spokesman said in a statement released Friday. "This is a curable tumor, and will require treatment over the next few months."

Lautenberg's doctors "expect a full and complete recovery," and say that he will be back at work in the Senate between chemotherapy treatments.

The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that Lautenberg is beginning chemotherapy treatment Friday. He still plans to seek re-election in 2014, the paper said.

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Lautenberg is the chamber’s second-oldest lawmaker.

The longtime New Jersey lawmaker was hospitalized earlier this week due to a bleeding ulcer. He underwent a successful endoscopy procedure, spokesman Caley Gray said Tuesday.

The senator was taken to a hospital Monday after becoming lightheaded and falling at his Cliffside Park home.

Lautenberg, born in Paterson, N.J., first came to prominence as chairman of Automatic Data Processing, a payroll services company he founded with two friends in 1952.

Lautenberg has been a staunch gun control advocate and critic of the tobacco industry. He wrote laws to ban smoking on domestic airline flights and to institute a national minimum drinking age of 21.

He has been back in the spotlight recently as a critic of the Transportation Security Administration after a January security breach at Newark Liberty International Airport. He also was active in the effort to end a custody dispute with Brazil involving the son of Tinton Falls, N.J., resident David Goldman.

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