ASUNCION (Reuters) - Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo has a second lymphoma nodule in his chest, doctors said on Saturday, a day after revealing he had cancer.
Lugo, a former Roman Catholic bishop, took office as president of the poor, soy-exporting nation two years ago.
His doctors said on Friday a biopsy carried out in a gland in his groin had revealed the early stages of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer, but that an early diagnosis meant there was a good chance the cancer could be treated successfully.
“He also has a nodule in the mediastinum, which is an area with glands in the chest. It is a lymphoma but it’s not that important because this kind of disease starts this way, in several areas,” said Alfredo Boccia, a member of the president’s medical team.
Boccia told reporters Lugo’s diagnosis had not worsened despite having been found to have more than one malignant nodule and that chemotherapy can be used to treat the cancer.
Health Minister Esperanza Martinez said on Friday Lugo, 59, would be able to conduct official business as usual although he will travel to a clinic in Sao Paulo, Brazil next week for further tests.
Lugo quit the church to run for president three years ago. He has been under pressure in recent months due to violence blamed on a small armed group operating in remote northern areas bordering Bolivia and Brazil.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that originates in the lymphoid tissue that makes up the lymph nodes, spleen and other organs of the immune system, with tumors developing from white blood cells. It is more common in men than women.
Lugo, whose term runs out in 2013, underwent surgery earlier this year to treat a swollen prostate.
Reporting by Mariel Cristaldo, writing by Eduardo Garcia, editing by Todd Eastham