August 28, 2019 / 12:52 PM / 19 days ago

Lithuanian PM being treated for lymphoma, will keep working

FILE PHOTO: Lithuanian President candidate Saulius Skvernelis speaks during a public discussion in Vilnius, Lithuania April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

VILNIUS (Reuters) - Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Wednesday he had been diagnosed with early-stage lymphoma but would continue working while undergoing cancer treatment that was expected to run until early November.

Skvernelis would not cancel plans for upcoming meetings in Vilnius with the prime minister of neighboring Poland and the speaker of the Swedish parliament, his advisor told Reuters.

“The doctors expect a full recovery, and so do I,” Skvernelis told reporters in Vilnius, speaking in a hoarse voice. “At this stage, the greatest danger for me is an infection, so I will be keeping a distance and will do less hand shakes.”

Skvernelis said he had carried out his first chemotherapy session on Tuesday and would continue these sessions as well as immunotherapy, which helps the immune system fight cancer, until Nov. 4 to prevent a re-emergence of the disease.

The lymphoma was detected during a routine health check-up following the country’s presidential election in May and was confirmed during surgery carried out earlier this month.

“I am a good example: do have health checkups, even if you feel perfectly fine,” Skvernelis said.

The next general election in Lithuania is planned for October next year.

(The story was refiled to correct a typo in the PM’s name in the second to last paragraph)

Reporting By Andrius Sytas; editing by Niklas Pollard

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