Col­leagues keep an eye on MP

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - AN­NIKA SMETHURST

FED­ERAL Par­lia­ment is of­ten seen as an un­friendly place but one MP is thank­ing her col­leagues for sav­ing her life.

Lisa Ch­esters, a 38-year-old La­bor MP, will start ra­dio­ther­apy for a rare eye can­cer af­ter fel­low politi­cians per­suaded her to get a spot on the white of her eye­ball checked.

“Af­ter I got the di­ag­no­sis I be­gan to ring my col­leagues in Can­berra to say thank-you for sav­ing my life,” she said. “I could have lost my eye – thank­fully we are not at that stage yet.”

The Vic­to­rian had been told by an eye spe­cial­ist the spot was safe and should only be re­moved for “cos­metic rea­sons”.

But her col­leagues, in­clud­ing Pater­son MP Meryl Swan­son, front­bencher War­ren Snow­don and even Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten pushed her to seek a sec­ond opin­ion.

“They started to ask me what the mark was and telling me I should get a sec­ond opin­ion,” she said.

In April, Ms Ch­esters went to a sec­ond spe­cial­ist who agreed to re­move the spot, which was found to be a rare con­junc­ti­val melanoma.

Eye melanomas that grow on the white of the eye are of­ten more ag­gres­sive and have a high rate of re­cur­rence.

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