(KFYI News) – Arizona State Representative Adam Kwasman announced on Thursday that he's been diagnosed with cancer, but insisted the timing of the announcement is unrelated to the fact that he's running for Congress, with the Republican primary less than two weeks away.

In a news conference at the state Capitol, Kwasman insisted he was making the announcement as a state legislator, not as a candidate for Congress.  Kwasman, a Republican from Oro Valley, is running in Arizona's First Congressional District.

He told reporters he was diagnosed just over a year ago with "chronic lymphocytic leukemia", a blood disease that is very slow spreading.

"People die WITH this disease, they don't die FROM this disease," Kwasman said, adding "I am not undergoing any treatment at this time, and they don't expect treatment to be needed for at least a decade."

Kwasman, who is 31, said he was hoping to keep the disease private – within his family and close friends – for at least another year or two.  "But once rumors started swirling, I had to come forward immediately to let people know I'm healthy and the disease is not a threat."

He says the timing of the announcement, vis-a-vis the primary election, is coincidental.