South Australian Liberal frontbencher Michelle Lensink has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

In a statement, the Member of the Legislative Council said she felt “lucky” the cancer was detected early and that she’s in the care of “an excellent specialist”.

“While this news came as a shock, cancer affects many in our community and I am grateful for all the work undertaken in this field which provides us with the best chance of beating this disease,” Ms Lensink said.

“Early detection provides the best chance of living beyond cancer, so I want to remind women to have a regular breast screen, and if they notice any breast changes to see their GP as soon as possible.

“More than 1,400 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in South Australia every year, and having a regular screening can help find breast cancer early and when it is easier to treat.”

Ms Lensink intends to carry on as a shadow minister and continue her duties in the state’s Legislative Council during treatment.

The former SA Human Services minister is currently the opposition spokeswoman for Planning, Social and Community Housing, Women, Housing Affordability and Urban Development.

She was elected to the Legislative Council in 2003 and was the first serving female MLC to have a baby.