Austria’s Health Minister, Sabine Oberhauser (SPÖ), has been diagnosed with abdominal cancer. In a press release she announced that she will start chemotherapy on Friday and that her doctors have said she has a good chance of making a full recovery.

Austria's health minister

She said that she wants to continue with her work at the health ministry. “The road will be tough – as it is for thousands of other women – but the goal is achievable,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “Now the enemy has been detected, the battle begins!” she added.

Oberhauser was examined in hospital on Tuesday for a suspected tumour. She thanked well-wishers for their support, saying that she felt truly encouraged by their “power and energy”.

Chancellor Werner Faymann said he hoped she would soon be in “full health” and that she is known “as a fighter” whose “vitality and confidence” should help her get through the coming weeks.

Oberhauser was appointed Health Minister on September 1st 2014 and has been working to bring in a comprehensive smoking ban.

She is married and has two daughters.