World News

Paraguayan president diagnosed with lymphoma

ASUNCION (Reuters) - Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo has been diagnosed with lymphoma, but an early biopsy means there is a good chance the illness can be treated successfully, his doctors said on Friday.

Lugo, 59, underwent minor surgery earlier this week to remove a gland from his groin area. A biopsy carried out on the tissue revealed early stages of the cancer, the doctors said.

“Early studies carried out on the gland taken from President Fernando Lugo showed the existence of a malignant illness called lymphoma,” one of his doctors, Jose Ballesai, told a news conference.

Another doctor, Alfredo Boccia, said chemotherapy could be used to treat the cancer and the president would travel to a hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Tuesday to decide the course of further treatment.

Health Minister Esperanza Martinez said Lugo, a former Roman Catholic bishop, would be able to continue his official business as normal.

Lugo, who took office in 2008, underwent surgery earlier this year to treat a swollen prostate.

A leftist who left the church three years ago to run for the presidency, Lugo has faced a number of paternity scandals during his term.

Paraguay, one of South America’s poorest countries, has been rocked by sporadic bouts of political unrest and several coup attempts since democracy was restored in 1989 after a 35-year dictatorship led by General Alfredo Stroessner.

Reporting by Mariel Cristaldo, writing by Helen Popper, editing by Todd Eastham