Alabama Governor Kay Ivey Announces She's Undergoing Lung Cancer Treatment


Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Thursday she’s been diagnosed with lung cancer, though she plans to continue serving as governor while being treated.

The 74-year-old Republican, who has been Alabama’s chief executive since 2017, made the announcement in a statement posted to the Alabama Office of the Governor’s website.

“Throughout my life, I am constantly reminded that I have so much for which to be thankful; God has been incredibly gracious to me,” she said. “One of the highest honors you have given me is serving as your governor.”

Citing her desire to “always shoot straight” with her constituents, Ivey went on divulge her recent diagnosis.

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“Within the past few weeks, during a routine exam, my longtime family physician discovered a spot on my lung that was unusual,” Ivey said. “Additional tests confirmed that this was, indeed, a tiny, isolated malignancy.”

Despite the diagnosis, Ivey is staying optimistic.

“The good news is I am one of the fortunate ones where this was discovered early, and it is very treatable,” Ivey said.

“The better news is Alabama is home to some of the world’s leading physicians. My team of doctors have assured me this treatment has a very high rate of success and will have a minimal impact on my schedule.”

On Friday, Ivey said she’s scheduled to undergo an outpatient procedure at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which she said “will allow me to soon begin a series of specialized radiation treatments.”

“None of this will prevent me from continuing to serve as your governor and doing the work you elected me to do,” Ivey added.

In a statement, Ivey’s physician, Dr. William P. Saliski, Jr., said he expects the governor to recover after undergoing radiation treatments.

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“Governor Kay Ivey was referred to me to review an abnormal spot on her lung. A biopsy was performed and pathology results revealed a small, isolated malignancy,” he said, according to

“Upon consultation with our cancer team and reviewing all options available, Governor Ivey determined that these minimal radiation treatments are her preference. Governor Ivey has opted for the least invasive treatment which has an excellent cure rate. I expect her to make a full recovery.”

Many Alabama politicians responded to the news by wishing Ivey well in her upcoming cancer fight.

“Throughout her treatment, Gov. Ivey will carry with her the prayers, thoughts, and well-wishes of millions of Alabamians, and those of my family and I will certainly be among them,” Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth said in a statement.

“As a cancer survivor myself from 2001, I know that early detection, treatment, and prayer can work. I am confident Gov. Ivey will have the best treatment available, and we have wonderful cancer programs in Alabama. Kay Ivey is one tough lady, and I am confident that the cancer will be the loser in this fight,” Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler said.

Ivey, who formerly served as the state’s lieutenant governor, became governor in April 2017 after Robert Bentley stepped down. She was elected to a full term in November.

For now, Ivey is trusting in God as she faces cancer.

“Naturally, I welcome your prayers and your support,” she said. “Just as so many others who have been affected by cancer, I am confident of God’s plan and purpose for my life and feel extremely fortunate this was caught so early.”

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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