Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has revealed he was treated for prostate cancer in the summer of 2017.
A spokesperson for the 70-year-old Romney said he was surgically treated by Dr. Thomas Ahlering at UC Irvine Hospital in California, Fox News reports.
"Last year, [former Massachusetts] Governor Mitt Romney was diagnosed with slow-growing prostate cancer," the aide said. "The cancer was removed surgically and found not to have spread beyond the prostate."
Romney reportedly might run for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who recently announced he won't seek re-election.
Romney changed his home state from Massachusetts to Utah on his Twitter account the day Hatch announced his retirement. Romney owns homes in both states.
On Jan. 2, Romney issued a statement praising the 83-year-old Hatch, who has been in the Senate since 1976:
I join the people of Utah in thanking my friend, Senator Orrin Hatch for his more than forty years of service to our great state and nation. As Chairman of the Senate Finance and Judiciary Committees and as the longest-serving Republican Senator in U.S. history, Senator Hatch has represented the interests of Utah with distinction and honor. Ann and I wish Senator Orrin Hatch and his loving wife Elaine all the best in their future endeavors.
Romney was Massachusetts governor from 2003 to 2007. After failing to gain the Republican nomination for president in 2008, he was successfully nominated in 2012, but lost to then-President Barack Obama in the general election.
President Donald Trump had lobbied against Hatch's retiring, and encouraged him to run for another term. In response, Hatch replied that "every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves."
In turn, Trump tweeted: "Congratulations to Senator Orrin Hatch on an absolutely incredible career. He has been a tremendous supporter, and I will never forget the (beyond kind) statements he has made about me as President. He is my friend and he will be greatly missed in the U.S. Senate!"
Although Trump considered Romney for a position in his administration as secretary of state, the two have had a rocky relationship.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Romney called Trump "a fraud" who has "neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president," reports the Daily Mail. "Dishonesty is Donald Trump's hallmark," Romney added.
Trump responded by calling Romney a "choke artist" for losing to Obama in the 2012 election.