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Former Virginia Gov. Baliles enters cancer treatment program

The former Democratic governor has been fighting a type of kidney cancer called renal cell carcinoma for several years.
Credit: AP Photo/Tsugufumi Matsumoto
File photo of former Virginia Governor Gerald L. Baliles in 1997.

RICHMOND, Va. — Former Virginia Gov. Gerald Baliles has entered a specialized care program for complications arising during his ongoing battle with kidney cancer.

A statement from 79-year-old Baliles' family says the former Democratic governor has been fighting a type of kidney cancer called renal cell carcinoma for several years.

The family says that in 2016, he had a tumorous kidney removed and began treatment for cancer cells that had migrated to his lungs. The Roanoke Times reports that a recent diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease, required additional treatment and Baliles has now entered a palliative care program.

Baliles served as governor from 1986 to 1990. The newspaper says he oversaw transportation improvements, reformed the state's income tax structure and focused on state education and economic development efforts, among other contributions.