By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Former Sen. Arlen Specter is battling cancer again.

Despite having been through more than his fair share of serious health issues, he remains optimistic.

Specter holds the record as Pennsylvania’s longest serving Senator and no doubt a record for medical comebacks. Over the years, Specter has beaten lymphatic cancer, Hodgkin’s disease twice and survived a brain tumor and cardiac arrest after bypass surgery.

Now the former Senator confirmed he has another medical challenge, releasing a statement on Tuesday.

“I’m battling cancer. It’s another battle I intend to win. I’m grateful for all the well wishes I have received. I’m looking forward to getting back to work, to the comedy stage, to the squash court and to the ballpark,” Specter says.

At age 82, Specter still does stand-up comedy, plays squash and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. His one-time colleague Sen. Bob Casey says not to count Specter out.

“He’s very tough and very determined. He’s been through an extraordinary life but a life full of health challenges. I’d always bet on him coming back,” Sen. Casey says.

Specter had a strong independent streak as a Republican.

He beat current Sen. Pat Toomey in the Republican primary, backed Rick Santorum for Senate, and switched parties before getting defeated by then Congressman Joe Sestak.

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