SAO PAULO: Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was diagnosed with throat cancer, a hospital where the ex-leader went for medical exams said on Saturday. Following a series of tests, the 66-year-old Lula “was diagnosed with a tumor located in his larynx” and will receive outpatient chemotherapy treatment, the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital of Sao Paulo said in a statement. He was otherwise in good health, the statement read.
The charismatic and popular Lula left power with a record 80 per cent approval rating after two consecutive terms from January 2003 to December 2010. Brazil’s constitution prohibits a third consecutive term. The former copper factory worker’s social programs helped lift 29 million Brazilians out of poverty, and his foreign policy turned Brazil into a global power player.
The Syrian-Lebanese Hospital, which specializes in cancer treatment, treated Lula’s former vice-president, Jose Alencar, who died in March following cancer in his abdominal area. President Dilma Rousseff was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 2009, before she was elected to Brazil’s top office, and was treated in September of that year at the hospital. Doctors say she is currently cancer-free.