Gov. Murphy announces he has kidney tumor, will undergo removal surgery

Antionette Lee
February 23, 2020 - 9:28 am
Gov. Phil Murphy

Danielle Parhizkaran/


NEW JERSEY (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced on Saturday that he has a tumor on his kidney, and that he will undergo surgery to have it removed next month.

The governor made the announcement via Twitter. His office told KYW Newsradio that doctors found the tumor during a recent checkup. 

Because it was discovered early, Murphy's office said the tumor is fully treatable. KYW Medical Editor Dr. Brian McDonough agreed.

"If it's caught early, it has a very good prognosis, and early means you're trying to catch it while it's still enclosed in the kidney and you can remove that part of the kidney," he explained. "The problem is when it spreads to lymph nodes or to other parts of the body."

It's not known right now if the tumor is cancerous, but McDonough suggested it's very likely. 

"You can have a mass on the kidney that's benign," he said, "but usually when you get a mass on the kidney it is found to be kidney cancer. In fact, kidney cancer is one of the top 10 cancers diagnosed in the U.S."

Murphy tweeted that he's not alone if it is cancer, saying over 50,000 New Jerseyans will be diagnosed with cancer this year. He called this a reminder that he must continue fighting for affordable health care.