The newest appointee to the Minnesota Supreme Court announced Wednesday that he has "highly curable" throat cancer and will continue with his duties as associate justice while he undergoes treatment.

In a statement, David Lillehaug said he learned of the cancer last week. He is scheduled to join the state's high court June 3, replacing retiring Justice Paul Anderson.

"Fortunately, it has been caught very early, it is localized, and it is highly curable," he said.

Lillehaug said doctors at the Virginia Piper Institute, part of Abbott Northwestern Hospital, are preparing a seven-week nonsurgical treatment to begin in mid-June. The treatment will not interfere with his duties, he said.

"While I may experience unpleasant side effects from the treatment, (including around late June, the time of my formal investiture), I expect to participate fully in the Court's ongoing work," he said in the statement.

Lillehaug, 59, a former U.S. attorney for Minnesota who represented Gov. Mark Dayton during the 2010 gubernatorial recount, was appointed in March.