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Toronto-area MP Salma Zahid diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Last Updated Feb 20, 2018 at 4:40 pm EDT

Liberal MP Salma Zahid, shown in a handout photo, says she's taking a medical leave to be treated for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-House of Commons MANDATORY CREDIT

OTTAWA – Liberal MP Salma Zahid says she’s taking a medical leave to be treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Zahid, who represents a Toronto-area riding, says she received the diagnosis in the last week.

It followed weeks of intermittent pain that began after an overseas visit during the holidays.

Zahid says she begins chemotherapy treatment today and after the first round will have a clearer plan for her prognosis and treatment.

She last spoke in the House of Commons on Feb. 5, World Cancer Day, when she called attention to the Liberal government’s support for cancer research.

Zahid was first elected in 2015 and prior to federal politics was a long-time adviser to the Ontario government.

“I am determined to fight this diagnosis and to continue my work in service of the people of Scarborough Centre as soon as I am medically able to do so,” she said in a statement Tuesday.

The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that 8,300 Canadians were diagnosed in 2017 with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that develops in cells that ordinarily help fight infection.