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Chavez says tumour was malignant


Caracas : Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that he will undergo more radiation therapy after confirming that the tumour that was removed from his body Feb 26 in Havana was a “recurrence” of the cancer he was diagnosed with last June.

Chavez offered the details of the biopsy performed on the tumour during a special 90-minute television program that was recorded in Cuba Saturday and broadcast from there Sunday in which he said that the cancer had not metastised and clarified that the date of the operation was the 26th.

“The (pathological) study was done with the required scientific rigor on the tumour that was completely removed and it confirmed what had already been supposed, that it is a recurrence of the cancer that was initially diagnosed,” Chavez announced at the close of the programme.

Chavez said that “the most important thing” about the medical report is the part where it says that doctors confirmed that there were no lesions at this time suggesting the presence of cancer “either locally, or in the nearby organs, or at a distance … (and) no metastasis or (cancerous) nodes”.

Chavez appeared energetic and issued instructions to the members of the executive cabinet who accompanied him to Cuba, and he said that the operation was performed Feb 26 rather than on the 27th, as had been initially reported, adding that his recovery “is natural, is progressive, is sustained … (and) rapid”.

He said that the diagnosis of the recurrence of cancer did not surprise him “at all”, since the time he had been informed that a new tumor had been detected he knew that it could be a cancerous one “of the same kind as the previous one.”

Despite the confirmation of the tumour and the therapy he will now have to undergo, Chavez said that he feels “very optimistic” regarding the prognosis for recovery “thanks to … good diagnosis and rapid intervention”.

The news of the recurrence of the disease came after Chavez had claimed at the end of last year that he had been cured of cancer while he was pushing ahead with long workdays that, his ministers said, proved his strength and also while he was moving forward with plans to run for reelection in the Oct 7 presidential election.

Last year, Chavez had undergone four rounds of chemotherapy and was continuing to rest and recover, although more and more frequently he was making more prolonged appearances at public events and holding longer working sessions, all of which were broadcast by state-run television.

Chavez, who traveled to Havana Feb 24 for the medical procedure, did not specify where he will spend his time recovering or when he will return to Venezuela.