Victorian MP Fiona Patten has been diagnosed with cancer and will undergo surgery to remove one of her kidneys.
The Reason Party leader announced her diagnosis on Tuesday evening, saying she was revealing it in the interests of transparency for both the media and voting public.
Ms Patten’s surgery would take place in a couple of weeks, and her prognosis was good, with the belief the disease has not spread and she should make a quick and full recovery, she said.
“With an election just around the corner, the timing of this is unfortunate but any cancer diagnosis is never timely,” Ms Patten said.
“So many of us are touched by cancer these days – as patients, friends, relatives, carers, and health and medical staff.
“I have wonderful support medically and personally and realise how lucky I am in this respect.”
Ms Patten reflected that some with a cancer diagnosis cannot afford private health insurance or the best medical care, and some have limited or no personal support.
She wanted people to be able to talk openly about their health, whether that be physical or mental, she said.
“I hope that by being public and transparent it might help others do the same,” Ms Patten said.
“The surgery will interrupt my election campaign a little and no doubt I will be campaigning for some of that time from a hospital bed.”
Ms Patten imagined she would be back on Zoom “with a vengeance” when not allowed out on the hustings, she said.