Palm Beach News

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley Says He Has Prostate Cancer

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley -- a Republican from West Palm Beach who represented Florida's 16th congressional district for more than a decade -- announced he has prostate cancer, according to Newsmax.

Foley, 56, told the news outlet he's scheduled for surgery in an Orlando-area hospital on Friday.

He said his doctors tell him that the cancer is confined and is unlikely to spread and that his "chances to beat the cancer are excellent."

"I learned five weeks ago after a routine exam that I have prostate cancer," Foley told Newsmax. "The surgery involves complete removal of the prostate. Naturally, I have some reservations about the surgery. Nobody wants their plumbing messed with. But I mostly feel good about it."

Foley, who was first elected to his congressional seat in 1995, resigned in 2006 amid allegations that he had sent sexual emails and instant messages to teenaged boys while they were serving as congressional pages.

Formal investigations found no criminal wrongdoing by Foley, but that didn't stop people from pointing out the hypocrisy in his political agenda.

During Foley's initial run for congress, he responded to accusations of being gay by saying, "I like women" -- which wasn't exactly true.

Years later, Foley acknowledged that he is gay and in 2007 told reporters he was in a relationship with a Palm Beach man.

This came after years of siding with the GOP on antigay legislation, including voting for the Defense of Marriage Act.

Foley did have some high points in his congressional career, like starting the rumor that Al Gore claimed to have invented the internet.

He expects to recover from his surgery within days and told Newsmax it wouldn't be as bad as his scandal with the congressional pages.

"I made it through 2006," Foley told them, "so this is a minor bump in the road."

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley