Colombian President to have surgery for cancer
BOGOTO - The Associated Press
Santos (C) holds a press conference with his wife (L) and his personal doctor, Felipe Gomez, in which he says he has a 97 percent chance of a full recovery. EPA PhotoColombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced Oct. 1 that he has prostate cancer, adding his name among Latin American leaders suffering from cancer.
The 61-year-old Santos told reporters in announcing the cancer at the presidential palace, his wife Maria Clemencia at his side, that he has a 97 percent chance of a full recovery. Santos said the tumor was caught early and would be removed this week. “It’s a small tumor located in the prostate gland and the prognosis is good, that is to say it’s not aggressive,” Santos added.
He said he planned undergo surgery today on his return from a summit of South American and Arab leaders in Peru. Santos said the surgery would be performed under local anesthetic so he would not need to relinquish temporarily his presidential responsibilities.
Santos, who took office in August 2010, is the latest Latin American leader to be diagnosed with cancer. Others include Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, as well as former Presidents Fernando Lugo of Paraguay and Fidel Castro of Cuba.
The news comes as Santos’ government about to begin formal peace talks this month with the militant group, FARC. Talks between two sides have been postponed a week. FARC militants said in a statement that negotiations scheduled for Oct. 8 in Norway will now open Oct. 15.