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Former US Sen. Bob Dole announces he has stage 4 lung cancer

Dole represented Kansas in the U.S. House and Senate for a total of 35 years and ran unsuccessfully for president in 1996.

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Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, of Kansas, has been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, according to a statement shared on social media from official accounts.

“My first treatment will begin on Monday,” the statement from Dole said. “While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own.”

Dole represented Kansas in the U.S. House and Senate for a total of 35 years and ran unsuccessfully for president in 1996.

Dole, 97, is a native of Russell, Kansas. He earned two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars for valor for his service in the Army during World War II.

Dole was an infantry lieutenant in 1945 when he was wounded by German machine gun fire, which left him with limited use of his right arm. He was promoted from captain to colonel for his service in 2019.

Dole also received the Congress' highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, from President Donald Trump in 2018.

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas said there has been no better public servant than Dole, and he expects Dole to take on this challenge like he has so many others in his life.

“Senator Dole, just as you taught me that when there is ‘any problem too big, just go listen to the people of Kansas,’ please know that the state we both love is behind you, and Laina and I and my entire family of course are behind you. We join all of Kansas in praying for God’s comfort and His healing hand, and peace for you, for Elizabeth, for Robin, and for your entire family during this difficult time.”

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly also wished Dole a full recovery.

"Wishing my friend Senator Bob Dole a swift recovery," Kelly said on social media.