Handsome "American Idol" finalist Luke Menard has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a representative for the singer's a capella group Chapter 6 confirmed.
"Luke had a lingering cough and was having trouble breathing deeply, so he went to the doctor to have it checked out," Jane Victor told CBS News. "The suspicion was walking pneumonia. But after a chest x-ray doctors saw a mass and did more testing, which is what led to the stage II Hodgkin diagnosis."
The 29-year-old singer, his wife and family remain hopeful, Victor added.
The news of Menard's illness was first reported by VoteForTheWorst.com. The Web site suggests fans send a message to Menard via his MySpace page.
According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma society, Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, is now considered to be one of the most curable forms of cancer. The 5-year relative survival rate of stage II Hodgkin disease is 90 to 95 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.
Menard made it into the top 16 on this season of "American Idol." He was voted off the show on March 6, 2008.
Copyright 2008 CBS. All rights reserved.