Colombian president leaves hospital after cancer surgery

BOGOTA Sat Oct 6, 2012 12:28pm EDT

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos walks during a news conference at a hospital in Bogota October 6, 2012. REUTERS/Fredy Builes

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos walks during a news conference at a hospital in Bogota October 6, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Fredy Builes

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BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was released from a hospital on Saturday and said he was "totally cured" after successful surgery for prostate cancer that had not spread beyond the gland.

Santos, 61, said on Monday that doctors had discovered a tumor on his prostate. The cancer announcement came two weeks before his government was to start peace talks that could put an end to almost 50 years of war with Marxist rebels.

"As you can see, I'm going back home, one of the most pleasant feelings one can have after this experience," Santos told reporters as he left the hospital in northern Bogota.

He also thanked the medical team that treated him.

"I was able to save my life because it was confirmed yesterday that the tumor had not metastasized (spread to other body parts). ... They tested all the glands and there was no trace of cancer. In other words, I'm totally cured," he said as he walked out of the hospital.

Santos will not require chemotherapy, his doctors have said, and a complete recovery will likely take up to three weeks. During that time, his ability to travel will be limited.

(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Eduardo Garcia; Editing by Will Dunham)

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