Thomas Menino, Longtime Boston Mayor, Has Advanced Form of Cancer

Image: Thomas Menino, Longtime Boston Mayor, Has Advanced Form of Cancer

Monday, 17 Mar 2014 08:53 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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Just months after leaving office, former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has been diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer that has spread to his liver and lymph nodes.

The Boston Globe reported that he described it as the most profound challenge of his life.

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"My attitude really is, we’ll get through it. We got through the [illnesses in 2012], we’ll get through this. I have great doctors and supportive friends," he said.

Menino said he has also drawn a lot of strength from his wife, Angela.

"What else can you do? What I don’t want is people feeling sorry for me. I don’t want sympathy. There are people worse off than me. It’s my biggest concern — I don’t want to be treated any differently," he said. 

After an extensive search, doctors say the cancer is of an unknown origin, but that it has metastasized. His primary care physician, Dr. Charles A. Morris, discovered it while investigating Menino's back after he complained of leg weakness.

The 71-year-old Menino served as Boston's mayor from 1993 to 2014 — five terms — which is the longest anyone has ever served in that position.

Menino had cancer removed from his body in 2003 and 2012 via surgery. However, the Globe reported surgery is not an option this time around. In 2012, the mayor spent six weeks in the hospital for a number of ailments. While there, he developed a compression fracture in his spine and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

In April of last year, when the Boston Marathon was bombed, killing three and injuring 260 others, Menino was in the hospital recovering from surgery on his broken leg.

Menino's ailments played a major role in his decision to not seek a sixth term.

In a statement released Saturday, current Mayor Marty Walsh said, "I've never known Tom Menino to back down from a fight, and I don't expect him to start now. Mayor Menino has always been here for the people of Boston, and we're behind him today, 100 percent."

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