SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 8, 2013

Rep. Hill recovering after marrow transplant

BOSTON — State Rep. Bradford Hill, the Republican from Ipswich who also represents several local towns in Massachusetts’ House of Representatives, is recovering at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston after undergoing a bone marrow transplant Wednesday to treat cancer.

Hill, who was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2008, has been extremely private about his cancer, with only a handful of his colleagues and constituents aware. He decided to make his battle with the disease public yesterday because he will be recovering at home for almost two months.

Hill, who is 46 and serving his eighth term in the House, will spend the next 17 days in the hospital, then nearly two months at home. Because his immune system is weakened, he has to limit his exposure to the public, he said.

Since first diagnosed in 2008, Hill lived with the disease with few complications, but this past spring, “something spiked” that drew the concern of doctors at Dana Farber, he told the News Service yesterday morning. He is being cared for by doctors from the Dana Farber/Brigham Women’s Cancer Center.

“Clearly, I’ve had this for five years, and something popped, and we wanted to address it while I’m young and I’m able to address it health-wise,” he said in a telephone interview from the hospital.

Multiple myeloma is cancer that affects certain white blood cells, called plasma cells. It represents about 1 percent of all cancers in the U.S., and about 22,000 Americans are diagnosed with it each year, according to a website for Massachusetts General Hospital. It is more common in men and occurs rarely under the age of 35.

In August, Hill began chemotherapy treatments, receiving treatment for two successive weeks, then with a week off in between. The chemotherapy was to prepare him for the bone marrow transplant, a trial procedure that used his own marrow.

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