Alannah MacTiernan diagnosed with breast cancer but says outlook 'good' after surgery – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Alannah MacTiernan diagnosed with breast cancer but says outlook 'good' after surgery

Updated August 05, 2019 14:52:53

WA Labor Minister Alannah MacTiernan has revealed she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Key points:

  • Alannah MacTiernan says she is “very optimistic” about her cancer prognosis
  • She says she will continue to serve as a minister while receiving treatment
  • She says she has always wanted to wear wigs and “now I have an excuse”

The long-serving MP — whose ministerial portfolios include Regional Development, Agriculture and Food, and Ports — said she was diagnosed with the disease two months ago.

“Since then, I have had surgery and am currently undergoing chemotherapy,” she said.

“The prognosis is good.”

Ms MacTiernan said she would continue in her ministerial roles while she received treatment and was “very optimistic” about her prognosis.

“Tens of thousands of Australian women go through this process,” she said.

“Everyone deals with it in their own way. I am focused on getting on with my job, as I have continued to do for the last two months.

“My hair has often been a topic of discussion among the political class. I have always wanted the opportunity to wear wigs — now I have an excuse.

“I am making the public statement because it is going to become a touch obvious that my hair is better than it normally is, and people will be wondering, so I think it important to disclose that there is going to be a couple of months of good hair.

“I’m not frightened, I’m confident I will get through this.”

Serving on the state and federal stage

Ms MacTiernan initially served in State Parliament from 1993 to 2010, during which she championed projects like the Perth to Mandurah rail line as transport minister.

She resigned to contest the seat of Canning in 2010, but after falling short of victory she moved to local politics and served as mayor of Vincent from 2011.

Ms MacTiernan moved into federal politics two years later after being preselected to the safe Labor seat of Perth following the resignation of Stephen Smith.

She retired from the federal scene in 2016 and returned to the WA Parliament when she was elected to the Legislative Council at the 2017 state election.

Ms MacTiernan said she would retain her strong worth ethic in spite of her illness.

“I’m confident I can keep doing the job competently and so that is my intention,” she said.

“I might scale back to a six-day week and a few less evenings.”

Topics: cancer, breast-cancer, health, government-and-politics, states-and-territories, state-parliament, perth-6000, wa

First posted August 05, 2019 14:21:36

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