VIENNA, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Austrian Minister of Health and Women's Affairs Sabine Oberhauser lost her battle with cancer and passed away on Thursday at the age of 53, local media reported.

The minister had first made her abdominal cancer diagnosis known to the public in early 2015, and had since often been to hospital for operations and other necessary treatments relating to the disease, having to take breaks from her ministerial duties.

Her condition had reportedly improved for some time, though she had to be hospitalized again at the beginning of February over abdominal inflammation.

The Vienna native, initially trained as a doctor, had been candid about her condition, providing updates via social media, and acknowledging in a 2015 interview an acceptance of mortality.