WASHINGTON, D.C.— Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), a figurehead of Hawaii politics for over 30 years, has been diagnosed with cancer, according to her office Tuesday.
“During a routine pre-operative physical for my eye surgery, my doctor discovered an abnormality on my chest x-ray,” she said in a statement. “After a series of follow up tests, I have been diagnosed with kidney cancer that is also present in my seventh rib.”
Hirono’s treatment is being overseen by a preeminent kidney cancer specialist at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital.
Hirono will undergo a procedure on her kidney tomorrow and in the next few weeks, she will be treated as an outpatient and receive a Cyberknife procedure, according to her office.
“He has designed a comprehensive treatment plan – including surgery to remove my right kidney and an innovative, non-invasive, outpatient procedure called Cyberknife to eradicate the lesion on my rib,” she said. “At the conclusion of this treatment, there will be no identifiable disease left untreated. My doctor expects I will make a full recovery from these treatments.”
Hirono succeeded long-time Hawaii senator Daniel Akaka and assumed office in the U.S. House of Representatives in Jan. 3, 2013, serving with Sen. Brian Schatz.
In a town hall meeting at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School earlier this month, Hirono criticized the Trump administration on education policies and addressed concerns of North Korea’s “unrelenting desire to become a nuclear power.”
She is optimistic on her outlook.
“I will continue working during my recovery, and look forward to returning to the Senate as soon as possible,” she said. “I face this fight with the same determination I’ve fought for the people of Hawaii. And I never quit, especially when things get tough.”