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Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc to Begin Treatment For Leukemia

Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa November 23. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

OTTAWA – Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc says he will soon begin treatments for cancer.

LeBlanc says he plans to remain a cabinet minister and Liberal MP while undergoing treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

The MP for Beauséjour says the cancer was discovered after his family doctor detected an anomaly in his white cell blood count during his annual physical last spring.

The diagnosis came in April.

In a joint statement, oncologist Dr. Nicholas Finn says LeBlanc’s disease is the most common form of leukemia, which must be closely monitored but can be controlled.

Finn says LeBlanc will be able to schedule his treatments, which should wrap up next spring, in a way that will have “minimal impact on his work.”

LeBlanc was the second New Brunswick politician to reveal a cancer diagnosis this week.

Dorothy Shephard, the Progressive Conservative member for the riding of Saint John-Lancaster and former provincial cabinet minister, was diagnosed with breast cancer after a regularly scheduled mammogram.

Shephard says she’s awaiting a surgery date and a plan for treatment, but is optimistic for a good outcome.

The 56-year-old member of the legislature says she has an older sister who successfully fought breast cancer about 15 years ago.

Shephard says she plans to get back to work as soon as possible and fully intends to run in the provincial election next September.

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The Canadian Press