CHRONOLOGY-Hugo Chavez's battle for health

Sat Dec 8, 2012 11:49pm EST

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Saturday he would undergo another cancer operation in the coming days after doctors in Cuba found a third recurrence of malignant cells in his pelvic area.

Following is a chronology of the 58-year-old socialist leader's battle with illness:

JUNE 30, 2011

* A pale-looking Chavez addresses the nation by television from Cuba, where he says doctors operated on him to remove a cancerous tumor from his pelvis.

JULY 4, 2011

* The president makes a surprise return to Venezuela ahead of the country's Independence Day celebrations.

JULY 17, 2011

* Chavez returns to Cuba to begin a course of chemotherapy.

SEPT. 22, 2011

* Finishes his fourth and final course of chemotherapy.

OCT. 20, 2011

* Following tests in Havana, Chavez declares himself free from his cancer, and his doctors say he is completely cured.

DEC. 2, 2011

* Hosts a regional summit, minus representatives from the United States, in Caracas.

DEC. 20, 2011

* Attends a Mercosur summit in Uruguay, Chavez's first political trip overseas since his illness was diagnosed.

FEB. 21, 2012

* Chavez says he will undergo another operation after a lesion was found in the same area where he had the tumor.

FEB. 28, 2012

* The president undergoes surgery in Cuba.

MARCH 4, 2012

* Chavez says he will undergo radiation treatment in Cuba.

MARCH 16, 2012

* President returns to Venezuela after his latest operation.

MARCH 25, 2012

* Chavez returns to Havana to begin his first cycle of radiation therapy.

APRIL 5, 2012

* The president cries during Roman Catholic Mass, calls on God "not to take him yet" because he has more to do for Venezuela.

APRIL 14, 2012

* Chavez returns to Cuba for more radiation treatment, missing the Summit of the Americas in Colombia.

OCT. 7, 2012

* Chavez wins re-election at presidential poll.

NOV. 27, 2012

* The president says he will return to Cuba for treatment including hyperbaric oxygenation, which can be used to treat the side effects of radiation therapy.

DEC. 7, 2012

* Flies home to Venezuela in the pre-dawn hours, joking "Where's the party?"

DEC. 8, 2012

* Chavez says doctors in Cuba found a recurrence of malignant cells in his pelvic area and that he will have to undergo another operation within days.

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