Gordie Gosse, the MLA for Sydney-Whitney Pier and the former Speaker of the Nova Scotia legislature, says he has been diagnosed with cancer and will be reducing his duties as he undergoes treatment.

Gosse released a statement on Tuesday and said he had been diagnosed last week. He did not specify what type of cancer he is battling.

"Like hundreds of other Nova Scotians I am nervous and scared about the fight I am about to embark on. But it’s a fight I am determined to win," he said in his statement.

"Fortunately my cancer was diagnosed early and my prognosis is good, but I will be required to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments."

The New Democrat MLA, who was first elected to the legislature in 2003, said spending time away from his constituents and colleagues will not be easy.

"Everyone from the Pier all the way to Province House knows how much I like to talk. But I owe it to my family, friends and colleagues to get better, and that means listening to my doctors," said Gosse.

"I trust people will understand my need for privacy during my treatment and recovery."

The cancer was discovered after Gosse had his tonsils removed at a Cape Breton hospital last week.

He said he's hoping to be back to Province House in the fall and said his constituency office would remain open in the meantime.

"In true Gordie Gosse fashion, his first concern was about his constituents and his family," said Maureen MacDonald, the acting leader of the New Democratic Party.

"We've assured him that we will do our utmost to help him with those duties but his first concern has to be his health."

Premier Stephen McNeil and Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie also offered their best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Gosse said the last week had been challenging but he wanted to thank health-care workers for their support.

"I've always lived by the motto when you get knocked down get right back up," he said.

"Rest assured — I'm already on my feet, my cancer is treatable and I'll be seeing everyone again soon."