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Latino Daily News

Wednesday December 28, 2011

Argentine President Kirchner Has Thyroid Cancer to Take Short-Leave of Absence

Argentine President  Kirchner Has Thyroid Cancer to Take Short-Leave of Absence

Photo: President Cristina Fernandez

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Argentine President Cristina Fernandez will undergo surgery on Jan. 4 to remove a tumor on her thyroid gland, presidential spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro said.

The tumor was discovered when the 58-year-old president underwent a routine medical exam, Scoccimarro said.

Fernandez’s other organs have not been affected by the tumor, the presidential spokesman said.

After the operation, the president plans to take sick leave until Jan. 24, Scoccimarro said.

“On Dec. 22, during a routine medical examination conducted on the president of the nation, the existence of a papillary carcinoma of the right lobe of the thyroid gland was detected,” the presidential spokesman said.

Tests conducted on Tuesday indicated that the lymph glands have not been affected and Fernandez’s tumor has not metastasized, Scoccimarro said.

The procedure Fernandez will undergo is relatively simple and she should be able to recover completely and live a normal life, specialists said Wednesday.

The operation takes “two or three hours, basically because of the proximity of other organs” near the thyroid in the neck, Latin American Thyroid Institute president Dr. Marcos Abalovich told Radio Continental.

The president will undergo surgery at a private hospital in Pilar, a city located about 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Buenos Aires.

Fernandez will be undergoing an operation that “does not have too many complications,” Pedro Roffo Oncology Institute chief Ricardo Kirchuk told Radio 10.

Thyroid cancer has a high recovery level and is “absolutely manageable” with medicine, Kirchuk said.

The operation will be performed by Dr. Pedro Saco, one of Argentina’s top specialists in dealing with this form of cancer, officials said.

Saco studied medicine in Argentina and received additional training at cancer institutes in Houston and New York.

The surgeon, who has been practicing medicine for 27 years, is vice president of the Argentine Association for Head and Neck Surgery.