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Rep. Mo Brooks said that he learned of his "high risk" prostate cancer in October

The Alabama Republican pushed his colleagues to get regular cancer screenings

Washington CNN —  

Rep. Mo Brooks, who lost to Roy Moore in Alabama’s GOP Senate primary, announced Wednesday he has prostate cancer and that losing the race “may have saved” his life.

Speaking from the House floor, Brooks said that he learned of his “high risk” prostate cancer in October. Appearing to hold back tears, the congressman talked about the night he called his wife to tell her the prognosis, when she was handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, and called it “one of loneliest nights apart in our 41-year marriage.”

During his speech on the floor, Brooks said he had a “very good cure prognosis” and hoped to return to Washington following the recess next year. He said he will undergo surgery this Friday and a post-surgery medical procedure on December 20.

Brooks pushed his colleagues to take care of themselves and get regular cancer screenings.

“Don’t ever ever take your health or family for granted,” he said. “During the holidays enjoy your family because no one, no one is promised tomorrow.”

Brooks added that he believes that having the time to get his own screening, in the wake of his Senate race loss, may be responsible for saving his life.

“I ran for the Senate in 2017. I finished third out of nine candidates in the Republican primary,” Brooks said of the Alabama GOP primary last summer. “Had I won, I would not have had time for my physical and (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test. I would not have had a prostate biopsy. I would not now know about my high-risk prostate cancer which requires immediate surgery. In retrospect and paradoxically, losing the Senate race might have saved my life.”

Brooks added, “Yes, God does work in mysterious ways.”

Brooks said he expects he will miss critical House votes next week, including votes on the GOP tax plan and end of year spending, while he’s recovering from surgery.