Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned to Caracas Thursday claiming to be free of cancer four months after undergoing surgery in Cuba to remove a tumor in the abdominal region. He has undergone chemotherapy four times.
REUTERS - Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez declared himself cancer-free on Thursday, four months after surgery to remove a cancerous tumor that shook the South American nation ahead of a 2012 presidential vote.
“I am free of illness,” Chavez, 57, said in an address to Venezuelans after touching down from Cuba in a western state where he plans to make a pilgrimage to a Catholic shrine.
Despite the ebullient socialist’s declarations, most experts say it is impossible for a cancer patient to be considered out of danger until at least two years after treatment.
Dressed in green military uniform and speaking confidently, Chavez said tests he undertook in Cuba this week had shown there were no malignant cells in his body following four cycles of chemotherapy after the June 20 operation in Havana.
“A vital stage has concluded,” he added. “The new Chavez is back ... We will live and we will continue living.”
Chavez has not given precise details of his cancer, but the surgery was in his abdomen region.
Date created : 2011-10-20