Labour MP Dawn Butler has revealed that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
In a statement this morning, she said doctors “had identified breast cancer cells at a very early stage” following a routine mammogram in early November.
The Brent Central MP said “it is something that I will get through and over” as she announced she was taking time off work to recover from surgery.
Butler also paid tribute to NHS staff, who she said were struggling to cope with the aftermath of the pandemic, and called on the government to properly invest in it.
The former shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, who was elected in 2015, recalled the moment she was given her diagnosis.
“Of course, everything stood still as it does when you hear the dreaded C-word – it is a shock but an early diagnosis means that it is something that I will get through and over,” she said.
“The NHS has caught my cancer early, the operation was a complete success, and I will make a full recovery.
“However, I now have to take time off work for my recovery. Everyone who knows me knows that I am a workaholic and I love what I do – but unless I listen to medical advice and recover well, I will not be able to give my best.”
She added: “I want to end my statement by thanking the NHS and everyone who is soldiering through.
“I have seen first-hand how the NHS is under enormous pressure – The Royal London seemed full, people were waiting on chairs in A&E for beds, the staff were exhausted in the NHS and many were suffering from PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder”.
“Covid-19 has taken a lot out of them. So many people have missed appointments (many through no fault of their own), results are delayed and operations postponed.
“If we are to show our appreciation for the amazing NHS workers and rebuild our health service then we need to properly invest in the NHS, both structurally and in the very people who keep it functioning.”