N.B. politician taking break from legislature to battle breast cancer

An Opposition member of the New Brunswick legislature is taking a break from her job after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Dorothy Shephard, the Progressive Conservative member for the riding of Saint John-Lancaster, says she got the diagnosis last week after a regularly scheduled mammogram.

Shephard says she's awaiting a surgery date and a plan for treatment, but is optimistic for a good outcome.

The 56-year-old member of the legislature says she has an older sister who successfully fought breast cancer about 15 years ago.

Shephard says she plans to get back to work as soon as possible and fully intends to run in the provincial election next September.

"Dorothy is determined to beat this diagnosis and return as soon as possible to fight for her constituents and advance the many issues she has passionately advocated for over the last number of years," said a statement Tuesday by the Progressive Conservatives.

Shephard was first elected in September 2010 and became minister of healthy and inclusive communities two years later.

— with files from Bell Media Radio's Brad Perry