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Sandra Deal fighting breast cancer
Georgia's first lady will have chemotherapy for early-stage disease
Sandra Deal at Oak Hill Elementary 3-11-15
Georgia first lady Sandra Deal reads to students at Oak Hill Elementary on Wednesday, March 11, 2015.

Georgia’s first lady announced she is fighting early-stage breast cancer.

Sandra Deal has undergone surgery and soon will begin chemotherapy treatments “to ensure complete remission,” according to Gov. Nathan Deal’s office on Monday.

Representatives of the governor said Sandra Deal had successful surgery to remove a tumor detected during her annual mammogram.

“During an annual mammogram, I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer,” Deal said in a statement.

“Since I caught it in its early stages, I am confident that the chemotherapy will yield successful results. In light of this, I encourage all women to be proactive about their health and see a medical professional for an annual mammogram.

“Nathan and I appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this time, and I look forward to continuing to read to students across the state.”

Deal has been an advocate for literacy and has read to students in all of Georgia’s 159 counties during her seven years as first lady. She is a co-chairwoman of the Georgia Literacy Commission.

She is a former teacher in Hall County’s public schools.

The Deals have been married for 51 years. They have four children and six grandchildren.

Nathan Deal is term-limited and will leave office in January 2019.

Georgia politicians and others turned to social media to express their prayers and support for Sandra Deal after news broke about her diagnosis on Monday.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.:

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga.:

Secretary of State Brian Kemp:

Attorney General Chris Carr:

The Georgia Department of Public Health makes available information about its Breast and Cervical Cancer Program here.