Rep. Donald Payne’s Battle With Colon Cancer Worsens

The long-term lawmaker’s condition is rapidly deteriorating.

Posted: 03/02/2012 05:15 PM EST

Rep. Donald Payne was flown from Washington, D.C. to New Jersey on a medical transport plane Friday, less than a month after he disclosed that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer.


Before Payne, 77, announced he was battling with the disease, his diminishing frame made it evident that he was dealing with some sort of illness. But when he confirmed the suspicion, the 24-year Capitol Hill veteran said that his doctors expected him to make a full recovery and that he planned to run for re-election this year.


This week, however, his condition took a sudden turn for the worse and the outlook, a Democratic aide told BET.com, is “not good.” Members of the New Jersey delegation have been advised to visit their colleague as soon as possible before his condition further deteriorates.


"We're still a bit optimistic, but I mean, you know, it is what it is. It's cancer,” Donald Payne Jr., Newark City Council president, told the Star Ledger.


According to American Cancer Society statistics, Black men and women, respectively, are 1.5 and 1.4 times more likely to die from the disease than whites.


Payne is New Jersey’s first African-American congressman and a former Congressional Black Caucus chairman.


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