Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

The 97-year-old Republican, a war hero who ran unsuccessfully as the 1996 Republican presidential nominee, announced he was "recently" diagnosed with stage four lung cancer on Twitter Thursday morning.

“Recently, I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer," he said. "My first treatment will begin on Monday. While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own."

During Dole's time in the Army in War World II, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Metal and two Purple Hearts for an injury in the war that permanently damaged both of his arms. In 2019, Congress voted to promote him to honorary colonel for his actions during the war. His recovery from those injuries was delayed due to blood clots and a life-threatening infection, according to his autobiography One Soldier's Story: A Memoir, which recounts his experiences in the war.

Dole spent 27 years in the Senate representing Kansas, during which time he also served as chairman of the Republican National Committee and Senate minority leader. That came after four terms in the House of Representatives, beginning in 1961.

Dole ran for president in 1980 and 1988 after being President Gerald Ford's vice-presidential running mate in 1976. He was the first person to be nominated for both the presidency and vice presidency by one of the major political parties without winning either one.

Editor's note: This article has been updated. The original version said Dole was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, but he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.