WASHINGTON -- Former Sen. Norm Coleman said Monday that he has throat cancer and will be treated at the Mayo Clinic.
Coleman, 66, confirmed to the Star Tribune that he has surgery on Tuesday. He told friends on Facebook that he remains upbeat and the prognosis is positive.
"After experiencing a prolonged sore throat, I recently noticed a lump on my neck," he wrote. "My doctor ordered an immediate biopsy which confirmed the cancer. Subsequent tests show that it is isolated to a portion of my neck and my tonsil. After absorbing the shock, the fear and the uncertainty, and meeting with my doctors and oncologists both in the Twin Cities and at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, it is clear that my cancer, while serious, is very treatable and the prognosis is extremly positive."
Coleman, a Republican, served Minnesota for one term in the U.S. Senate from 2002-2009. He lost his bid for re-election to current Sen. Al Franken. He is now a lobbyist with Hogan Lovells in D.C. and travels back to Minnesota every weekend to spend time at his cabin north of the Twin Cities.
Though out of public office, Coleman has kept a strong role in national politics, running the super PAC American Action Network, and helping Sen. Lindsey Graham run for president.
Coleman said in the Facebook post on Monday he plans to live as much life as he can usually.
"I will continue to live my life, enjoy my family, go to my cabin, do my work, stay involved in politics and public policy and be a husband and a dad," he wrote. "Life will go on as it should and as it will."
Coleman said on Monday he stands by his Facebook statement and asked that the public value his family's privacy as he seeks recovery.
"I hope you will find a moment in your day to send my family and me prayers of strength and encouragement. I know they make a difference," he wrote. "God IS good."
Minnesota Republican chair Keith Downey released a statement Monday about Coleman, saying he offered his prayers to he and his family.
"I think it's safe to say he has the entire state in his corner," Downey said. "Sen. Coleman has been very good to our party and to me personally, and he is known for his very personal approach to politics and the friendships he has."