UPDATE: Sanders will recover from thyroid surgery at home, campaign says

Arkansas’ Republican gubernatorial candidate hopes for quick return to campaign trail

By: - September 16, 2022 3:11 pm

Sarah Huckabee Sanders discusses her intent to focus on childhood literacy if elected governor of Arkansas. Sanders met supporters during a campaign stop in Morrilton on Sept. 7. (Hunter Field/Arkansas Advocate)

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the GOP nominee to be Arkansas’ next governor, announced on Friday she had her thyroid and surrounding lymph nodes surgically removed due to recently discovered thyroid cancer.

On Saturday, campaign spokesman Judd Deere said Sanders, 40, had been released from the hospital to spend the remainder of her recovery at home.

An accompanying statement from her doctor said the former White House press secretary is cancer-free and should be back on her feet within 24 hours.

Sanders in a statement said she hopes to return to the campaign trail soon.

“During a check-up earlier this month, my doctor ordered a biopsy on an area of concern in my neck and the test revealed that I had thyroid cancer,” Sanders said. “Today, I underwent a successful surgery to remove my thyroid and surrounding lymph nodes and by the grace of God I am now cancer-free. I want to thank the Arkansas doctors and nurses for their world-class care, as well as my family and friends for their love, prayers and support. I look forward to returning to the campaign trail soon. This experience has been a reminder that whatever battle you may be facing, don’t lose heart. As governor, I will never quit fighting for the people of our great state.”

Dr. John Sims, a head and neck oncologic and microvascular reconstructive surgeon at CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock, released a statement through Sanders’ campaign.

“Sarah is currently recovering from surgery in which we removed her thyroid gland and some of the surrounding lymph nodes in her neck,” Sims said. “The surgery went extremely well, and I expect her to be back on her feet even within the next 24 hours. This is a Stage I papillary thyroid carcinoma which is the most common type of thyroid cancer and has an excellent prognosis. While she will need adjuvant treatment with radioactive iodine, as well as continued long term follow up, I think it’s fair to say she’s now cancer free, and I don’t anticipate any of this slowing her down.”

Alongside Sanders, Democrat Chris Jones and Libertarian Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. are running to be Arkansas’ next governor.

Sanders was the chief spokesman for former President Donald Trump, and she is the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who also made several bids for the Republican presidential nomination.

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Hunter Field
Hunter Field

Hunter Field is a veteran Arkansas journalist whose reporting on the state has carried him from military air strips in northwest Arkansas to soybean fields in the Arkansas delta. He spent the better part of the last decade investigating and reporting on Arkansas government and politics. For three years, he covered education policy, medical marijuana and the Arkansas General Assembly as part of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Capitol Bureau. Most recently, he was the Democrat-Gazette's projects editor, leading the newspaper's investigative team. Hunter got his start in journalism covering sports for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. A Memphis native, he enjoys smoking barbecue, kayaking and fishing in his free time.

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