Bob Child  /  AP
Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell in a June 2004 file photo.
updated 12/27/2004 8:08:47 PM ET 2004-12-28T01:08:47

Gov. M. Jodi Rell underwent breast-cancer surgery Monday after doctors discovered the disease in its very early stages, the governor’s office said.

Rell, 58, was expected to be hospitalized for about three days at Danbury Hospital, officials said.

The governor was recovering Monday evening after being in surgery for much of the afternoon. Doctors told her staff that the mastectomy was completed without any problems.

The governor’s office said tests showed the disease had not spread to her lymph nodes. Spokesman Rich Harris said Rell will probably not require radiation or chemotherapy after the surgery.

The cancer was discovered after a routine mammogram, her office said. The cancer did not appear on the mammogram itself, but was discovered during a biopsy of a non-cancerous calcium deposit. During the biopsy, the doctor noticed two additional deposits and removed both of them. One of the deposits proved to be cancerous.

Plans to address Legislature Jan. 5
Rell, a Republican, said in a statement that she still plans to address the Legislature on Jan. 5, the opening day of the new session.

Rell, the former lieutenant governor, became governor in July after John Rowland resigned amid threats of impeachment and a federal corruption investigation.

Connecticut’s only other woman governor, Ella Grasso, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1980 while in office and died of the disease a year later.

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano underwent surgery last month to remove an ovarian cyst, which was benign, and her right ovary. She also had surgery in 2000 to have her right breast removed after being diagnosed with cancer.

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