Image: Frank Lautenberg
Tim Larsen  /  AP
Sen. Frank Lautenberg's doctor, Dr. James F. Holland, said in a statement last week, 'We expect a full and complete recovery' for the 86-year-old lawmaker.
NBC News and msnbc.com
updated 2/25/2010 7:07:13 PM ET 2010-02-26T00:07:13

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, 86, was released from the hopsital Thursday, days after beginning treatment for a newly-diagnosed but "curable" form of stomach cancer.

"He is extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from New Jerseyans all across the state and is anxious to get back to work," said a Lautenberg spokesman. "The Senator feels good and his doctors are encouraged by the progress he is making."

Lautenberg's doctors diagnosed him with a B-Cell Lymphoma of the stomach last week. In a statement, his office called the tumor "curable" and said that the senator is expected to make "a full and complete recovery."

He will receive six to eight chemotherapy treatments administered about every three weeks, doctors said. Lautenberg is expected to be able to return to work in the Senate between those treatments, although he missed votes on a jobs bill during his hospitalization.

The senator was taken to a hospital last Monday after becoming lightheaded and falling at his Cliffside Park home. He was diagnosed with the tumor after undergoing tests last week.

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.

NBC's Kelly O'Donnell contributed to this report.

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