Noonan reveals cancer treatment

The Minister for Finance has this evening confirmed that he has undergone treatment for cancer.

The 71-year-old minister said he had noticed a lump on his right arm, near the shoulder, in February.

The lump was diagnosed as a sarcoma - which is a malignant form of cancer - which had to be removed.

The Minister underwent five weeks of radiotherapy in March and April at St Luke's Hospital in Rathgar to shrink the sarcoma, which was then removed at Cappagh Hospital in Finglas last Wednesday. He was discharged on Sunday.

Minister Moonan issued the statement on his treatment tonight "on foot of queries from (the) media and in order to ensure accuracy and clarity", a Fine Gael spokesperson said.

The Minister stated: “In February 2014 I noticed a lump on my right arm in the shoulder area. On medical examination this was identified as a sarcoma which needed to be removed."

"During late March and April I received five weeks' radiotherapy at St. Lukes Hospital to shrink the sarcoma. Last Wednesday, May 28, the sarcoma was removed at Cappagh Hospital. I was discharged on Saturday, May 31."

"My medical team believe the treatment has gone very well and are upbeat about the prognosis. There is no damage to my shoulder muscle and my risk of recurrence is low."

"I wish to thank all of the staff at St. Lukes Hospital and Cappagh Hospital, and in particular my medical team."

"I will continue to serve as Minister for Finance at the Taoiseach’s discretion," he added.

A source close to Minister Noonan said tonight the results of the cancer treatment were "good news".

The political source said Minister Noonan would be working a full day (Wednesday) as he had done (today).

"It is good news. Michael has a full days work ahead of him tomorrow (Wednesday)."

"He was in Cabinet meetings today and he'll be in Dublin again tomorrow."

"He'll be at his desk. It's business as usual," the source added.

It is believed to be the first time Minister Noonan has been treated for cancer, however the source would not be drawn on any details concerning the Minister's cancer scare.

"I'm not his doctor and I'm not prepared to comment on that," the source said.

Mr Noonan is the second consecutive Finance Minister to be diagnosed with cancer. The late Fianna Fáil TD, Brian Lenihan died in June 2011, having battled pancreatic cancer for 18 months.

Mr Noonan's wife Florence died in February 2012 of pneumonia. Two years before her passing Mr Noonan appeared on RTE's 'Frontline' programme revealing his personal heartache surrounding his wife's battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Minister Noonan has three sons Tim, John and Michael junior, and two daughters Orla and Deirdre.

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