Saturday May 19, 2012

BOSTON (AP) -- The wife of convicted former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi says he has been diagnosed with cancer in his tongue and lymph nodes while serving an 8-year federal prison sentence in Lexington, Ky.

Debbie DiMasi says the family was shocked and saddened to learn that DiMasi was diagnosed last month with a rare form of cancer.

An unidentified family friend tells the Boston Globe ( that DiMasi was diagnosed after he discovered a suspicious growth.

Debbie DiMasi could not be immediately reached for comment Saturday.

The 66-year-old DiMasi was convicted in June of using his political clout to steer two lucrative state contracts to a software firm in exchange for payments of $65,000.

DiMasi may be treated at a medical facility at the federal correctional complex in Butner, N.C.