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:
* 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.
* The president makes a surprise return to Venezuela ahead of the country’s Independence Day celebrations.
* Chavez returns to Cuba to begin a course of chemotherapy.
* Finishes his fourth and final course of chemotherapy.
* Following tests in Havana, Chavez declares himself free from his cancer, and his doctors say he is completely cured.
* Hosts a regional summit, minus representatives from the United States, in Caracas.
* Attends a Mercosur summit in Uruguay, Chavez’s first political trip overseas since his illness was diagnosed.
* Chavez says he will undergo another operation after a lesion was found in the same area where he had the tumor.
* The president undergoes surgery in Cuba.
* Chavez says he will undergo radiation treatment in Cuba.
* President returns to Venezuela after his latest operation.
* Chavez returns to Havana to begin his first cycle of radiation therapy.
* The president cries during Roman Catholic Mass, calls on God “not to take him yet” because he has more to do for Venezuela.
* Chavez returns to Cuba for more radiation treatment, missing the Summit of the Americas in Colombia.
* Chavez wins re-election at presidential poll.
* 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.
* Flies home to Venezuela in the pre-dawn hours, joking “Where’s the party?”
* 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.