Lenihan tumour spotted while on TV


Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs Conor Lenihan has revealed how an eagle-eyed doctor diagnosed a tumour on his face as he watched him speaking on television.

Mr Lenihan had immediate medical tests carried out and underwent a operation to remove the benign growth earlier this month.

Conor Lenihan: growth spotted while on RTÉ's Prime Time
Conor Lenihan: growth spotted while on RTÉ's Prime Time

The Fianna Fáil TD said the Co Galway-based surgeon spotted the growth while watching RTÉ's Prime Time programme in December.

The junior minister (43) said he had ignored the growth due to work pressures but today urged others to get medical check-ups.

"I feel very lucky to be honest, because I was literally on the television, and only for the fact that I was placed on the outer seat I was spotted on camera by a particular consultant, who said I had this tumour which thankfully wasn't malignant, but of course they weren't sure," he said.

"I had been aware of it but I was pretty preoccupied with my job and sort-of ignored it. Then the next minute, this fellow who spotted it on the television rang the office and said he wanted to talk to me and said 'you'd better get that seen to' so I am an extremely lucky person.

"There are other people out there who may have some sort of growth on their bodies - they should get them seen to immediately," Mr Lenihan said.

He said the lump was close to an important facial nerve that could have caused disfigurement and speech difficulties if not treated.

"I'm an extremely lucky person that this particular man was sitting at home," he told RTÉ Radio.