October 22, 2012 / 1:11 PM / 8 years ago

Colombia's VP says has prostate cancer, will need chemotherapy

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon said on Monday that he has non-aggressive prostate cancer and would need nearly 40 sessions of radiation treatment, only two weeks after the president had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.

Garzon, 65, has been plagued by health issues since taking office in 2010 including a heart attack only days after being sworn in and a brain bleed earlier this year that left him briefly in a coma.

“I suffer from a microscopic, non-aggressive cancerous tumor on the prostate, which, at no time, will be the cause of my death,” Garzon said in a statement.

The former union leader said he was undergoing 39 sessions of radiation therapy.

Earlier this month President Juan Manuel Santos had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on his prostate and he said that he had been “totally cured.

Garzon was a long-time union representative and governor of Valle department under then President Alvaro Uribe before being appointed Colombia’s representative to the United Nations.

On Monday, Garzon appeared to leave the door open to leaving his post, which is mainly about taking over the presidency should the current leader be incapacitated.

“I must leave in the hands of the constitution and the law everything related with the present and future of the vice president of Colombia,” he said.

Reporting by Jack Kimball; Editing by Jackie Frank

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