Top News

Local MP diagnosed with leukemia

['Above, local MP Dominic LeBlanc, left, is shown visiting the Open Sky property in this file photo.']
Above, local MP Dominic LeBlanc, left, is shown visiting Sackville's Open Sky Cooperative in this file photo.

Dominic LeBlanc will begin treatments next week

Longtime Member of Parliament Dominic LeBlanc has been diagnosed with leukemia but says he will continue working while undergoing treatment.

Leblanc, the MP for the local Beausejour riding and federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister, announced the diagnosis in a statement posted to Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday.

LeBlanc said the leukemia was detected after a routine check-up with his family doctor last spring, who noticed an anomaly in his white blood cell count. He was then referred to a specialist Dr. Nicholas Finn, hematologist-oncologist at the Dr. Georges-L. Dumont hospital.

After several additional tests and consultations, doctors diagnosed him with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in April. CLL is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell).

Finn explained in the statement that CLL, one of the most common types of leukemia in adults, is “a chronic disease in the sense that it must be closely monitored and sometimes treated, but can be controlled.”

LeBlanc is scheduled to begin treatments next week.

Due to the stage of the condition, the minister has the flexibility to schedule treatments in a way that will have minimal impact on his work, said Finn.

The treatments, which will involve chemo immuno therapy twice a month, will continue into the spring. Then, Leblanc can expect a pause in treatment for many years, with many routine follow-ups, said Finn.

LeBlanc said he recognizes that there are many Canadians facing more difficult health challenges and is confident this will not impact on his ability to do his job.

Like tens of thousands of Canadians living with chronic illness, I will continue to work and serve as Member of Parliament and cabinet minister, including during treatments, he said.

LeBlanc said he will be able to take advantage of the lull in the Parliamentary calendar to begin his treatments. MPs are scheduled to break for the holidays on Dec. 15 are not set to return until Jan. 29.

Recent Stories