Arlen Specter discharged from hospital

Sen. Arlen Specter, speaks at a news conference on Tuesday, April 28, 2009, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
September 7, 2012 11:19:16 AM PDT
Arlen Specter was discharged today from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he has been undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

The 82-year-old former senator was admitted to the hospital late last month. Now that he is out, Specter is expected to return to HUP periodically for additional cancer treatment.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is broad description for a number of blood cancers primarily affecting white blood cells in the lymph tissue. It can be treated with radiation or chemotherapy.

Word of this latest flare up of the disease began when he was admitted at Penn on Monday August 27, 2012. At that time, Specter released a statement confirming his continued battle with cancer, saying, "I'm battling cancer. It's another battle I intend to win. I'm grateful for all the well wishes I've received. I'm looking forward to getting back to work, to the comedy stage, to the squash court and to the ballpark."

Specter, who with 5 terms was Pennsylvania's longest-serving senator, has overcome two bouts with Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system, since 2005. He also has survived a brain tumor and cardiac arrest after bypass surgery.

In retirement, among other activities, Specter occasionally performed standup comedy at clubs in Philadelphia and New York. He played squash nearly every day into his mid-70s. Specter has also been practicing law, writing books and teaching.

His 30-year career ended after he switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. He lost the Democratic primary in 2010, and Pennsylvania voters elected conservative Republican Pat Toomey from the Lehigh Valley, who was a U.S. Congressman at the time, to replace him.

In Tampa Bay, Florida, at the Republican National Convention, Specter's former colleague Rick Santorum, who was a member of the U.S. Senate with Specter, said he learned about Specter's illness about a month ago.

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