Prime minister’s spouse fends off cancer

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Prime Minister Erna Solberg and her husband, Sindre Finnes, were on Norway’s national newscasts Tuesday night, urging everyone watching to check any changes in their skin. He and Solberg revealed this week how he received a cancer diagnosis just before the Christmas holidays.

The generally low-profile husband of Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Sindre Finnes, was in the news himself on Tuesday, after being diagnosed with skin cancer. He and Solberg stressed the importance of checking out any suspicious patches of skin early. PHOTO: NRK screen grab

“The word kreft (cancer, in Norwegian) is always so frightening,” Solberg told magazine Se og Hør. She admitted she’s been worried about her husband, who needed to have surgery on several malignant patches of skin. He underwent several operations, mostly on his face.

Finnes, age 54, went to the doctor after a spot on his forehead began to bleed. He’s been diagnosed with a mild form of skin cancer and his prospects reportedly are good.

“What happened is that I’ve had skin damage after getting too much sun,” Finnes told Se og Hør. “It’s developed into something it shouldn’t have been allowed to.”

Solberg, who was in the process of forming an expanded majority government just as her husband was diagnosed, said she wasn’t worried now, “but it brings a certain amount of uncertainty, especially in the beginning when we didn’t know what it was. Right now, I feel we have received good information.”

Both she and Finnes stressed the importance of having any suspicious moles or freckles checked out quickly. “I think it’s extremely important to get things checked early,” Solberg said. “It’s better to go to the doctor one time too often than not enough.”

Solberg and Finnes, an economist who works for Norway’s national employers’ organization NHO, married in Paris in 1996. He’s been widely hailed for being a highly supportive husband and taking the most responsibility on the homefront since Solberg’s political career took off. The couple have two children, a 22-year-old daughter and a 20-year-old son.

“We agreed as early as 1995 that Erna would do what she could at home and I’d take care of the rest,” Finnes told Dagbladet Magasinet in 2015. “What I didn’t think about at the time was how long that agreement would last.”

The family has mostly lived in Oslo since Solberg was first elected as a Member of Parliament representing Hordaland in 1989, but also maintains a home in their native Bergen. Solberg became a government minister for the first time in 2001, was elected as leader of the Conservative Party in 2004 and won the 2013 national election when she became prime minister. She’s been the Conservatives’ longest-serving prime minister and her government now holds a majority in Parliament.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund