Brazil’s ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been in treatment for cancer of the larynx since last October, suffered a dehydration episode and had to be taken to a hospital in Sao Paulo, his advisers said.
Lula, 66, walked unaided into the Sirio Libanes Hospital, where he has been receiving oncological care, after going 12 hours without adequate nourishment following a dehydration episode, the press office of the Citizens Institute, the foundation directed by the ex-president, told reporters.
According to information provided by his advisers, Lula’s dehydration episode was a reaction to the serum that complements his radiation therapy.
Hospital sources told Efe that Lula did not go to the emergency room and that his doctors were diagnosing the problem to determine what treatment to pursue.
Minutes later the clinic said in a bulletin that the patient was admitted “complaining of a loss of appetite and fatigue” and that a preliminary examination found “a slight presence of inflammation of the larynx and esophagus as a result of radiation therapy.”
“The medical team chose to hospitalize him for observation and to step up his nutritional support, physiotherapy and phonoaudiology, but the president’s state of health is good and there is no change in the radiation therapy plan,” the communique said.
After being diagnosed with cancer last Oct. 29, Lula underwent a cycle of chemotherapy that reduced by 75 percent a 3-centimeter (1 1/5-inch) malignant tumor, and then began a series of radiation sessions together with a lighter form of chemotherapy.
Earlier the ex-president had been hoping for doctors’ authorization to take part in the Sao Paulo Carnival parade next Feb. 19 with the Gavioes da Fiel samba school, made up of fans of the Corinthians soccer club and which this year will pay tribute to Lula as the subject of floats, musical groups, costumes and songs.
But doctors treating Lula for cancer rejected the idea of his marching with a samba school in Sao Paulo during this year’s Carnival, the press reported Thursday.