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Secretary Of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing on Capitol Hill

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Bob Dole, the former longtime senator and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, said Thursday that he has advanced stage IV lung cancer.

“Recently, I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. My first treatment will begin on Monday,” Dole, 97, said in a statement.

“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 added.

The Kansas Republican’s statement comes a day after talk radio pioneer Rush Limbaugh died at the age of 70 from the same type of cancer.

Dole served as Senate Minority Leader and Chairman of the RNC over the course of his 27 years in the U.S. Senate. He was the GOP presidential nominee in 1996, losing to Bill Clinton in the three-party race with independent reform party candidate Ross Perot helping to swing votes away from the GOP. Dole was also then-GOP nominee Gerald Ford’s running mate in the 1976 presidential election, which they lost.

In 1997, Clinton awarded Dole the Presidential Medal of freedom and, in 2018, Congress awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal. Both awards are the highest civilian awards that exist in the U.S.