WASHINGTON — Sen. Tom Coburn's victories over cancer have become a point of pride for him, meriting mention in speeches and even in his Senate biography.
“Dr. Coburn also is a three-time cancer survivor,” his Senate website says.
He is going to have to update that line.
Coburn, 65, had a recurrence of prostate cancer and is undergoing evaluation and treatment this week, a spokesman said Tuesday.
John Hart, Coburn's communication director, said he expects Coburn “to be back as soon as he is able, hopefully next week.”
Coburn, R-Muskogee, had surgery in October 2011 to treat an early incidence of prostate cancer and was back in Washington within a few days.
>>Read: Oklahoman Tom Coburn returns to U.S. Senate after surgery: A week after surgery to treat prostate cancer, Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, from Oklahoma, was back voting on the U.S. Senate floor. (Published Oct. 18, 2011)
That was his third victory. The first came when he beat malignant melanoma nearly 40 years ago. In 2003, a year before his first run for the U.S. Senate, he had surgery and chemotherapy to treat colon cancer.
Coburn, a physician, is serving his second and final term in the U.S. Senate. Several colleagues tweeted prayers and wishes to him after hearing about his cancer.
It's been a tough few weeks for Oklahoma's senators.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, returned to Washington on Monday after recovering from quadruple bypass surgery.
Inhofe, 78, resumed his regular schedule, attending a hearing on natural gas drilling Tuesday.