Minister 'lucky' after tumour spotted on TV

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Conor Lenihan had a lucky escape after a eagle-eyed doctor diagnosed a tumour on his face as he spotted him speaking on television.

Mr Lenihan had immediate medical tests carried out and underwent a operation to remove the benign growth earlier this month.

The Fianna Fáil TD from West Dublin today spoke of how lucky he was that the Co Galway-based surgeon was watching RTÉ’s Prime Time programme in December.

The 43-year-old said he had ignored the growth due to work pressures but today urged others to get medical check-ups.

“I feel very lucky to be honest, because I was literally on the television and only for the fact that I was placed on the outer seat I was spotted on camera by a particular consultant, who said I had this tumour which thankfully wasn’t malignant, but of course they weren’t sure,” said the father-of-three.

“I had been aware of it but I was pretty preoccupied with my job and sort-of ignored it. Then the next minute, this fellow who spotted it on the television rang the office and said he wanted to talk to me and said ’you’d better get that seen to’ so I am an extremely lucky person.

“There are other people out there who may have some sort of growth on their bodies – they should get them seen to immediately.”

Mr Lenihan said the lump was close to an important facial nerve which could have caused disfigurement and speech difficulties if not treated.

“I’m an extremely lucky person that this particular man was sitting at home,” he told RTÉ Radio.

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