Photo: Chavez Health -Cancer Repairs
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that he will undergo more radiation therapy after confirming that the tumor that was removed from his body on Feb. 26 in Havana was a “recurrence” of the cancer he was diagnosed with last June.
Chavez offered the details of the biopsy performed on the tumor, which he said was “two centimeters (about 3/4 inch) in diameter, that was removed from his body a week ago during a special 90-minute television program that was recorded in Cuba on Saturday and broadcast from there on Sunday in which he said that the cancer had not metastized and clarified that the date of the operation was the 26th.
“The (pathological) study was done with the required scientific rigor on the tumor that was completely removed and it confirmed what had already been supposed, that it is a recurrence of the cancer that was initially diagnosed,” Chavez announced at the close of the program.
Chavez said that “the most important thing” about the medical report is the part where it says that doctors confirmed that there were no lesions at this time suggesting the presence of cancer “either locally, or in the nearby organs, or at a distance ... (and) no metastasis or (cancerous) nodes.”
Chavez appeared energetic during the program and issued instructions to the members of the executive cabinet who accompanied him to Cuba, and he said that the operation was performed on Feb. 26 rather than on the 27th, as had been initially reported, adding that his recovery “is natural, is progressive, is sustained ... (and) rapid.”
He said that the diagnosis of the recurrence of cancer did not surprise him “at all,” since when he had been informed that a new tumor had been detected he knew that it could be a cancerous one “of the same kind as the previous one.”
To date, Venezuelan authorities have not reported the precise location of the original tumor, which was the size of a “baseball,” Chavez had said last year, stating only that it was located in the pelvic region.
Despite the confirmation of the tumor and the therapy he will now have to undergo, Chavez said that he feels “very optimistic” regarding the prognosis for recovery “thanks to ... good diagnosis and rapid intervention.”
The news of the recurrence of the disease came after Chavez had claimed at the end of last year that he had been cured of cancer while he was pushing ahead with long workdays that, his ministers said, proved his strength and also while he was moving forward with plans to run for reelection in the Oct. 7 presidential election.
Last year, Chavez had undergone four rounds of chemotherapy and was continuing to rest and recover, although more and more frequently he was making more prolonged appearances at public events and holding longer working sessions, all of which were broadcast by state-run television.
“I’m ready along with you to confront what we have to confront, but we will live and we will prevail,” he said on the television program broadcast on Sunday, repeating a phrase that he has used since the start of his battle with cancer nine months ago.
He thanked his supporters for their prayers and downplayed once again the rumors that have been circulating inside and outside Venezuela that his health situation is more serious than the government has been letting on.
Despite the fact that the special TV program had been announced to run “only” an hour, the president extended it for another half hour and discussed such matters as Sunday’s Russian presidential election, which Vladimir Putin won, despite controversy, and the conflict in Syria.
Chavez, who traveled to Havana on Feb. 24 for the medical procedure, did not specify where he will spend his time recovering or when he will return to Venezuela.