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Argentinian President Diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez holds a photo of her late husband and former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner at the Plaza de Mayo square after general elections in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011.
Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez holds a photo of her late husband and former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner at the Plaza de Mayo square after general elections in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011.

Officials in Argentina say President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and will undergo surgery January 4.

A government spokesman Tuesday said President Fernandez has what is known as a papillary thyroid carcinoma, which was discovered December 22.  The spokesman, however, said the cancer has not metastasized. The president will have the operation at Buenos Aires' Hospital Austral and take time off from her duties until late January.

The Argentine president is not the only current or former Latin American leader to undergo cancer treatment.

This past year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba to remove a cancerous tumor from his pelvic area.  He then went through four rounds of chemotherapy, three of those sessions in Cuba. The type of cancer he was diagnosed with has never been made public.

Separately, Brazil's former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was diagnosed with cancer in his larynx in October and began chemotherapy.  Current Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was treated for lymphatic cancer before she took office in January of this year.

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