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Colombia president to get malignant tumor removed

BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced Monday that he has prostate cancer. He said the tumor was caught early and would be removed this week.

The 61-year-old Santos told reporters in announcing the cancer at the presidential palace, his wife Maria Clemencia at his side, that he has a 97-percent chance of a full recovery.

“It's a small tumor located in the prostate gland and the prognosis is good, that is to say it's not aggressive,” Santos added.

He said he planned to fly to Lima, Peru later Monday for a summit of South American and Arab leaders and then undergo surgery on his return to Bogota on Wednesday.

Santos said the surgery would be performed under local anesthetic so he would not need to relinquish temporarily his presidential responsibilities.

Santos said his medical records would be completely public. That contrasts sharply with the president of neighboring Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who has refused to release medical records regarding the cancer that was identified last year and for which he has been treated in Cuba.

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