Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd, who has been one of the leading forces for healthcare reform this year, has scheduled a 2 p.m. (1800 GMT) news conference on Thursday to discuss a personal health issue, according to Senate aides.

Dodd, who faces a tough re-election campaign in Connecticut next year, has been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, according to the Hartford Courant newspaper. But a Senate aide, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters that Dodd will be fine.