Rep. Steve Scalise says he's being treated for blood cancer

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. He announced Tuesday he is being treated for blood cancer. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI.

Aug. 29 (UPI) -- House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., announced Tuesday he was diagnosed with the "very treatable" blood cancer multiple myeloma, adding that he plans to return to Washington, D.C., in September and continue working.

"After a few days of not feeling like myself this past week, I had some blood work done," Scalise said in a social media message. "The results uncovered some irregularities and after undergoing additional tests, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a very treatable blood cancer.

"I have now begun treatment, which will continue for the next several months. I expect to work through this period and intend to return to Washington, continuing my work as Majority Leader and serving the people of Louisiana's First Congressional District."

Scalise said he was grateful for the early detection, which should allow him to recover.

"I am incredibly grateful we were able to detect this early and that this cancer is treatable," he said. "I am thankful for my excellent medical team, and with the help of God, support of my family, friends, colleagues, and constituents, I will tackle this with the same strength and energy as I have tackled past challenges."

Scalise has served as the No. 2 House Republican since 2014, rising from whip to majority leader after his party took control this year.

This is not Scalise's first health concern. The representative of suburban New Orleans was shot by a man targeting Republicans during practice for the Congressional Baseball Game in 2017. He was absent from Congress a few months while recovering from serious wounds.