Ala. Gov. Ivey to undergo treatment for lung cancer

Updated: Sep. 19, 2019 at 6:03 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says she will begin radiation treatments at UAB Hospital in Birmingham after a “tiny, isolated malignancy” was found on one of her lungs.

“Naturally, I welcome your prayers and your support," Ivey said in a statement. "Just as so many others who have been affected by cancer, I am confident of God’s plan and purpose for my life and feel extremely fortunate this was caught so early.”

Ivey said the spot was found by her longtime family physician during a routine exam within the last several weeks. Watch Ivey’s full statement below:

Dr. William P. Saliski, Jr., with Montgomery Pulmonary Consultants, confirmed Ivey was referred to him to review the abnormal spot and performed a biopsy to determine what it was.

“Upon consultation with our cancer team and reviewing all options available, Governor Ivey determined that these minimal radiation treatments are her preference,” the doctor said. "Governor Ivey has opted for the least invasive treatment which has an excellent cure rate. I expect her to make a full recovery.”

Ivey said she made the decision to publicly announce her health concern “because I always shoot straight with you.”

“The good news is I am one of the fortunate ones where this was discovered early, and it is very treatable,” the governor said. “The better news is Alabama is home to some of the world’s leading physicians. My team of doctors have assured me this treatment has a very high rate of success and will have a minimal impact on my schedule.”

The governor will undergo an outpatient procedure Friday, “which will allow me to soon begin a series of specialized radiation treatments. None of this will prevent me from continuing to serve as your governor and doing the work you elected me to do.,” she went on.

Ivey, who turns 75 in October, became Alabama’s 54th governor on April 10, 2017. She’s just the second woman to attain the office. The other, Lurleen Wallace, died just over a year into her term in 1968 following a cancer diagnosis.

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