Words by Alastair James; pictures: Instagram
Wes Streeting, the Labour MP for Ilford North, has shared his diagnosis with kidney cancer in a video on social media.
The out gay politician, 38, says his cancer was caught early and doctors have said he "should make a full recovery."
Streeting, who is Shadow Secretary of State for Child Poverty, has thanked people for their support and says he will be taking time off from next week to undergo treatment.
I want to share some personal news.— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) May 14, 2021
From the end of next week, I’m going to be away from work for a little while as I’m about to undergo treatment for kidney cancer in the safe hands of the NHS.
Personal statement: pic.twitter.com/kUk1kqb0BM
"... an enormous shock"
In the video posted to his Twitter page, the Labour MP says he wanted to explain why he was going to be taking time off work.
"Back in early-March I went into hospital with a kidney stone. At the time a scan identified a lump on the same kidney. Around a month later, in April, unfortunately that lump was diagnosed as Kidney cancer."
Streeting says it was thanks to dealing with the kidney stone that they were able to catch the cancer early on. Regardless, he says getting the diagnosis at 38 came as "an enormous shock".
However, the MP is remaining optimistic that he will make a full recovery.
"I'm going to be following doctors' orders"
Mr Streeting goes on to thank his family, friends and colleagues for their support, as well as those he worked with during campaigns and elections, who he says helped if unknowingly.
"I also want to say thank you to all of the Labour candidates and activists I joined on the doorstep, because without knowing it, they made such a difference to me, during what was a really difficult time, taking my mind off things and helping me to crack on as normal."
He's urging his local constituents in Ilford North to contact his office while he's off, saying people "my brilliant team of staff will be there to support you."
"But in the meantime, I'm going to be following doctors' orders. My family had made it very clear and actually so has Keir (Starmer) that I will not be coming back until I've made a full recovery. Hopefully that won't be too long"
Since posting the video on Friday, messages of support have flooded in from across the political spectrum wishing the MP well.
Fellow Labour MP, Stephen Kinnock, who's wished Mr Streeting a speedy recovery says he's already "looking forward to having you back on the green benches"
Good luck with the treatment Wes, and looking forward to having you back on the green benches once you’ve made a full recovery!— Stephen Kinnock (@SKinnock) May 14, 2021
Others have been getting in touch sharing their own experiences with kidney cancer.
One person said he'd gone through something similar and was "exercising every day and feeling great" six weeks after surgery.
Hi Wes, Sorry to hear this. Something similar happened to me. I had successful surgery/treatment. lmk if you’d like to talk about any aspect of it. Below pics 1: the day after surgery 2: 6 weeks after the treatment finished, exercising every day and feeling great! pic.twitter.com/AJG9e231Wb— David Halfacree (@HalfacreeDavid) May 14, 2021
We wish Wes well and hope he makes a speedy recovery!