News / Americas

Brazil's Lula Completes First Round of Chemotherapy

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has left a Sao Paulo hospital after completing his first round of chemotherapy for throat cancer.

Doctors at Sirio-Libanes hospital said Tuesday that the former president, who is commonly referred to as "Lula," completed the session without complications.  Mr. da Silva is to have a total of three chemotherapy sessions in three-week intervals.  In the coming weeks, he also is expected to undergo radiation treatment.

A former smoker, Mr. da Silva was diagnosed with a tumor on his larynx late last week after complaining of throat pain.  Doctors say the cancer was detected at an intermediate stage but expressed hope it could be treated without surgery, which could make him lose his voice.  His prognosis is described as very good.

The former president said in a recorded message that he will win the battle against the disease.

The 66-year-old Mr. da Silva served two terms as Brazil's president.  He left office January 1 with 87-percent approval ratings.  The former president is not allowed to seek a third consecutive term but remains active in Brazilian politics.

Earlier this year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez underwent four rounds of chemotherapy after a malignant tumor was removed from his abdomen.  The Venezuelan leader has not disclosed the kind of cancer that was treated.

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