Senator Michael Bennet says has cancer, will have surgery

(Reuters) - United States Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, previously mentioned as a possible contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, said on Wednesday that he will undergo surgery for prostate cancer during the upcoming legislative break.

"Late last month, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. While hearing news like this is never easy, I am fortunate it was detected early, and as a result, my prognosis is good," Bennet, a Democrat, said in a brief statement released by his office.

"During the upcoming Senate recess, I will have surgery in Colorado and return to work following a brief recovery," Bennet said in the statement.

An adviser to Bennet told the Denver Post newspaper last month that the 54-year-old former Clinton Administration official had not made a final decision about whether to join the already crowded field seeking his party's presidential nomination.

Already more than a dozen candidates have jumped into the race, including Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Several others, including former vice president Joe Biden, are said to be making preparations for a run.

Bennet was appointed to the Senate in 2009 after his predecessor, Ken Salazar, was named secretary of the interior by President Barack Obama.

Bennet, whose father Douglas was a U.S. State Department official, was elected to his first full term in the Senate in 2010. He won re-election in 2016.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb)

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