Georgia congressman Rep. John Lewis on Sunday announced he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
The civil rights leader said doctors detected the cancer earlier this month during a routine medical visit and subsequent tests.
“I have been in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now.” Lewis said in a statement.
In the statement, the 79-year-old congressman added that doctors informed him that recent medical advances have made the type of cancer treatable in many cases and that he has a chance of fighting.
Lewis said he will continue representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional District.
His medical treatment is scheduled to be ongoing over the next several weeks.
Lewis is well known for his role in the 1960s civil rights struggles. He is the last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists in the group that was once led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.