POLICE and crime commissioner Bill Longmore has revealed he is battling lung cancer.
The 75-year-old West Mercia PCC, who was elected to the post in November 2012, was diagnosed with the disease during a routine check in November last year.
His deputy Barrie Sheldon will take over the role while Mr Longmore receives treatment and recuperates at home. His spokeswoman said he was due to have an operation this week.
Mr Longmore said: "In November 2013, purely to satisfy myself that I had no underlying medical problem, I went to my GP and requested a medical check, this included blood tests and an X-ray.
"At this time, I had no idication of any potential medical problem. Several days later I received a call to go and see my doctor. My chest X-ray was showing a shadow on my lungs that required further investigation. With further investigations I was diagnosed with lung cancer.
"The thought of having lung cancer and the question of how long you have left to live quickly becomes an everyday concern."
He added: "Following the initial shock of being diagnosed with lung cancer and thinking my life would be cut short, I believe I can and will recover and look forward to completing my term as police and crime commissioner. I expect to be in hospital between five and seven days when I shall return home.
"At home, I have the technology to keep in touch with my deputy, my chief executive and other staff members. I shall be in regular contact with the chief constable by personal visit and the use of Skype. If everything goes according to plan I look forward to resuming full time work sometime in March 2014, fully recovered."
Mr Longmore said he had spoken about the disease because he wanted to be "open with the people who elected me" and "draw attention to the fight against cancer".
He said: "On reading the literature published by Macmillan on lung cancer awareness I tried to associate potential symptoms I may have had that would have been early warning signs. Perhaps my early morning cough that I had had for many years was not catarrh but had been a sign. Was the aching in my shoulders not from my long time arthritics but an association with lung cancer?
"What I could not understand was why I felt so fit and well, better than I had felt for years. My experience with the health services has given me confidence that if there is an early diagnosis of cancer a patient has every chance of recovering."