KGVO received a press release Tuesday from Ginny Merriam, director of communications for the city of Missoula, stating that Mayor John Engen had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The statement said Mayor Engen had been suffering from abdominal pain and fatigue for a few months. He underwent an MRI and then a biopsy which confirmed the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Engen commented on his diagnosis in the press release, saying: “This is not the health news everyone wants to receive, but I suffer from optimism and have high hopes that the treatment will will extend my life so that I can continue the service I love among talented people, committed colleagues and the community. I have a long list and I hope to make it. I am speaking very publicly about this personal news because I sometimes have to take a step back from some optional tasks that I have enjoyed over the years and that my full appointment schedule can be rearranged depending on the treatment and my strength I want people to know that I am still at the helm, but if I am incapacitated and no longer able to fulfill the obligations of this job, I will resign.

Engen said his doctors have not yet provided a prognosis, but will keep his staff and city officials updated on his treatment schedule.

Engen has just been re-elected for a fifth term as mayor of Missoula.

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