Former Democratic leader Harry Reid is being treated for pancreatic cancer

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has surgery for pancreatic cancer

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Reid, a one-time amateur boxer and Capitol Police officer from Searchlight, Nevada, served five terms in the Senate, beginning in 1987. According to a statement from Reid's family, the problem was detected early and the surgery went well.

Reid, 78, will undergo chemotherapy, according to a statement released Monday by his family. Arizona Sen. John McCain, who is suffering from brain cancer, tweeted, "From one cantankerous senator to another, sending my prayers & best wishes to @SenatorReid as he recovers from a successful surgery".

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Reid, 78, is now co-chair of the MGM Resorts International Public Policy Institute, along with former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

The former majority leader announced that he would retire after three decades in the Senate in early 2015.

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Republican colleagues also sent their good wishes.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat who succeeded Reid as minority leader, tweeted shortly after the news broke. "The doctors say pancreatic cancer is not a great thing, but given that the operation couldn't have gone much better, we are all praying for Harry's speedy recovery", he said.

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Nevada's longest-serving senator helped propel the passage of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, blocked the development of a nuclear waste dump in Nevada and built a well-organized Democratic machine in the state. "Harry is a fighter - literally and figuratively - I know he is going to approach his recovery with the same energy and tenacity and resolve that defined his public life".

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