Cancer treatment hospitalizes former Brazilian president

PHOTO: Cancer treatment hospitalizes former Brazilian president

SAO PAULO - Former Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva was hospitalized Saturday afternoon in Sao Paulo with symptoms aggravated by his cancer treatments, his doctors said.

Lula, 66, "was evaluated today (Saturday) in Syrian-Lebanese Hospital in Sao Paulo with complaints of loss of appetite and fatigue," said a medical bulletin published on the hospital's website.

The doctors said they found a "small presence of inflammation of the laryngeal and esophageal mucosa, resulting from radiation therapy," the bulletin said.

Lula's radiation treatment was begun in January to eradicate a tumor in his larynx detected in October.

"The health of the former president is good and there is no change of plans for the radiation therapy treatment," the bulletin said.

Doctors chose to hospitalize the former president "for observation and intensification of the measures of nutritional, physiotherapy and phonoaudiological support."

Lula is scheduled to remain in Syrian-Lebanese Hospital until Monday, according to Brazilian media reports.

The former president underwent a third round of chemotherapy in December at Syrian-Lebanese Hospital.

Doctors rejected a surgery option after the December chemotheraphy treatment reduced the cancerous tumor by 75 per cent.

A former lathe operator and union leader, Lula was the first leftist president in the history of Brazil. He served two consecutive terms of office between January 2003 and December 2010.