Former US Senator Bob Dole greets former US President George HW Bush in the rotunda of the US Capitol on December 4, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Alex Edleman | AFP | Getty Images

Bob Dole, the former U.S. Senator and Republican presidential candidate, announced Thursday that he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

“My first treatment will begin on Monday. While I certainly have some hurdles ahead of me, I also know I am joining millions of Americans who are facing significant health challenges themselves,” Dole said in a statement.

97-year-old Dole was a U.S. Senator from Kansas for nearly 30 years.

He was also Gerald Ford’s vice presidential candidate in his 1976 campaign and shortly thereafter tested the water in the Republican president’s primaries in 1980.

Dole secured the 1996 GOP nomination for the presidency, but fell short of Bill Clinton in the successful re-election of the Democrat. Conservative H. Ross Perot ran a third run in the elections.

Dole supported Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, telling PBS NewsHour that Trump is “a strong leader and someone who can work with Congress. There are many similarities between my Senate days and what Donald is proposing.”

More recently, Dole said he felt that the Presidential Debate Commission treated Trump unfairly during the 2020 presidential debates.