01/22/2015 11:44 EST | Updated 01/22/2015 12:59 EST

Liberal MP Arnold Chan Diagnosed With Cancer


Liberal MP Arnold Chan has been diagnosed with cancer and will take time away from the House of Commons to battle the disease.

Chan, elected to represent the Toronto-area riding of Scarborough-Agincourt in a byelection last June, said in a statement Thursday that he has been diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer. The rare disease affects the upper part of the throat, behind the nose.

"I will be undergoing a period of aggressive treatment but I have been informed that my prognosis is excellent," Chan said in the statement. "I am confident that my cancer will be beaten."

Chan said he intends to continue to serve his constituents, but that his office staff will help handle work in his absence.

"I am looking forward to returning to Parliament as I am able, so that I can continue to work to put your interests first," he said, adding that he thanks to the University Hospital Network and Princess Margaret Hospital for their care.

Conservative cabinet minister Michelle Rempel was among the first to offer best wishes after Chan shared a link to his statement on Twitter.

But others also took to Twitter to express their support.

A former Queen’s Park staffer and lawyer, Chan took nearly 60 per cent of the vote last year in the byelection to replace longtime Grit MP Jim Karygiannis. Though Conservatives targeted the riding, Chan was able to increase the Liberal margin of victory over the 2011 election results.


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