ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough announced Wednesday he has begun cancer treatments.

Mayor Bryce Ward, 34, said he saw his doctor in December and asked to have a bump on his chest examined.

“Much to my surprise, it came back looking like a type of cancer known as lymphoma,” Ward said.

He was diagnosed last week with a subtype of B-Cell lymphoma. He started chemotherapy at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital on Friday.

B-cell lymphomas make up about 85% of the non-Hodgkin lymphomas in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society website. B cells are a a type of immune system cell, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Ward said he does not plan to travel and will take intermittent time off to recover during treatments.


“My office hours will be flexible, and I ask for your patience as I take some extra time to get well,” he said.

Ward said he would keep the public posted on his progress.

“My plan is to kick this thing in the pants and get back to work serving you all as fast as I can,” he said.

Ward was elected in October 2018. He served on the North Pole City Council for one year and was elected to two three-year terms as North Pole mayor.