MHA Lorraine Michael diagnosed with, treated for breast cancer

NDP MHA Lorraine Michael has gone public with her fight against breast cancer.

Prognosis excellent, says former NDP leader

The NDP's Lorraine Michael has been dealing with cancer detected by a mammogram earlier this year, the MHA told CBC today. (CBC)

NDP MHA Lorraine Michael has gone public with her fight against breast cancer.

Michael told CBC's CrossTalk on Monday the cancer was diagnosed and treated earlier this year, after it was detected by a mammogram. She said she wanted to share her story to give others hope.

'I think it's really important for me to share … what I've been through to give other women hope, because it has been a very hopeful experience for me.- Lorraine Michael

"I think it's really important for me to share … what I've been through to give other women hope, because it has been a very hopeful experience for me," she said.

She said her prognosis is excellent, as the mammogram caught the cancer early. She had a lumpectomy June 7 — in the middle of an Opposition filibuster in the House of Assembly over the Liberal government's deficit-reduction levy.

"When I woke up in the recovery room, one of the nurses leaned over and said, 'The filibuster's still on,'" she said.

Encourages regular mammograms

Michael said she has had mammograms every two years without fail, and encouraged other women to get regular checks even if — as in Michael's case — there is no family history of cancer. She also noted the risk of breast cancer increases for women as they get older.

"One in nine women in their 70s get breast cancer," she said. "I really encourage women to never give up having the mammograms."

Michael, 73, was elected NDP leader in 2006 and won the Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi (now St. John's East-Quidi Vidi) seat that fall. She stepped down as leader in March 2015. succeeded by Earle McCurdy.