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US Congressman Lantos Announces Retirement Due to Cancer

U.S. Democratic representative Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor elected to the U.S. Congress, says he will not seek re-election after being diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus.

Lantos issued a statement Wednesday saying his condition was discovered during routine medical tests. He says because of the development and the medical treatment required, he will not seek re-election.

In the statement, the 79-year-old said he has dedicated himself to issues such as human rights, civil liberties and social injustice in the United States and abroad.

The California Democrat was elected to Congress in 1980 and is in his 14th term. He also is chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

Lantos said it is only in the United States that a penniless survivor of the Holocaust and a fighter in the anti-Nazi underground could have received an education, raised a family and served in Congress.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.