Former South Australian senator Nick Xenophon has revealed he has been diagnosed with a brain tumour and is set for major surgery later this year.

The 65-year-old was diagnosed with a meningioma, a benign and non-cancerous tumour near his brain stem, the Adelaide Advertiser reports.

He would reportedly need essential surgery if the tumour grew any further.

“It should be okay, but there are risks involved,” Xenophon told the Advertiser.

“It’s a ticking time bomb in a really crappy location.”

The politician and lawyer said the news was followed with even more bad news.

“As I got off the phone (with the diagnosis) I received a call that my father had just died. A bit of a double whammy.”

“A subsequent scan before Christmas showed the tumour largely stable but appeared to be growing slowly.

“I just have to get through it. It has to be done.”

Xenophon has been focused on his law firm Nick Xenophon & Co. Lawyers since he left politics in 2018.

Now after the diagnosis he has transferred his clients and staff to the Adelaide firm Lindbloms, where he will provide service as a consultant.

In 2022 the Greek and Cypriot Australian announced his return to politics when he ran for the senate again.

He previously was a member of South Australia’s legislative council from 1997 to 2007 under the No Pokies banner and then was a senator from 2008 to 2017.