Former Providence Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci Jr. said Monday that he is being treated for a curable form of cancer.
In a statement emailed to NBC 10, Cianci did not specify what kind of cancer he has. But he said his doctors believe it to be "completely curable" and that he has a prognosis for a "full recovery."
Cianci, 72, said he's being treated at The Miriam Hospital.
"I had an operation this past Tuesday, I guess. They found an abscess and then they found the malignancy, and it's very treatable. It's contained," Cianci said in an interview on WPRO radio, where he hosts an afternoon talk show.
Cianci said he will have chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
"In all of the challenges I have encountered in my personal life, and in my career, there is an overriding life lesson that I have learned as a result of my diagnosis. And that is to fully appreciate the competence and compassion of doctors, nurses, and supporting specialists and staff who dedicate their lives to treating and caring for those with cancer and other serious illnesses," Cianci said in the statement.
Cianci said he plans to return to the radio next week and that he's looking forward to a "full and active" schedule this summer and fall.
Those words set off speculation of a political campaign. Cianci could legally run for mayor of Providence this year.
"I know if he wanted to prolong his treatment and have it done at a later date, he could have if he wanted to. I think he wanted to get it done quickly and get it done now because he does want to have an enjoyable summer and have an active fall," said former mayor and Cianci friend Joe Paolino Jr.
Paolino said he and Cianci have talked about the possibility of Cianci running for mayor this year, but Paolino insisted there's been no decision.
Cianci did not rule a run last month when asked by NBC 10's Bill Rappleye. He said he was not near making a decision and that it would depend on the field.
Cianci's current job situation is comfortable, but Paolino said he knows the former mayor.
"He loves his life, but he does have a passion for this city," Paolino said.
Cianci was one of the longest-serving mayors in U.S. history, but his legacy has been tainted by criminal convictions. He was elected in 1974 but forced from office 10 years later after assaulting a man. He was re-elected in 1990 but convicted in 2002 for corruption in Operation Plunder Dome.
He was released from prison in 2007.