News24

Lula diagnosed with cancer

2011-10-29 18:24

Sao Paulo - Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was diagnosed on Saturday with a tumour in the larynx and will undergo chemotherapy in the coming days.

Lula, as the former president is universally known, was being treated at Sao Paulo's Sirio Libanes Hospital, the same hospital where current Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was treated for cancer before taking office last January.

The hospital, a renowned cancer treatment centre, said in a statement that Lula was doing well and would start undergoing chemotherapy in the coming days as the first course of action.

Lula, 66, is a former union leader who rose from poverty to become Brazil's first working-class president. He led the country between 2003 and 2010, a period of robust economic growth in which more than 20 million Brazilians were lifted out of poverty and joined the middle class.

The diagnosis casts doubt on Lula's political future. Speculation has swirled that Lula could seek the presidency in 2014 if Rousseff, his political mentor, were to decide not to seek re-election.