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September 26, 2017

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Colombia's Santos recovering from successful cancer surgery

BOGOTA -- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos' surgery for non-aggressive prostate cancer was successful and the 61-year-old is recovering well, his medical team said on Wednesday.

Midway through his four-year term, Santos surprised the Andean nation on Monday by announcing that doctors had discovered a cancerous growth on his prostate.

He said the disease had been caught in time and there was minimal risk.

"Thank God, everything went well. I'm recuperating well. My family and I are very grateful for all your support," Santos said in a message on Twitter after the surgery.

His medical team said earlier on Wednesday the operation to remove the prostate had been successful and there had not been any complications.

"He has started drinking fluids, has asked for something to eat, has been able to sit in bed, therefore I think he has evolved very, very well," Santos' urologist, Dr. Felipe Gomez, told reporters outside the Fundacion Santa Fe hospital in northern Bogota where the surgery took place.

Doctors said the tumor was extracted under local anesthesia and that it had not spread.

"His vital signs have remained stable. ... The president will continue being monitored by doctors as planned," said Adolfo Llinas, the hospital's medical director.

Santos' treatment will not require chemotherapy, Gomez has said, and the president will likely spend two to three days in the hospital. A complete recovery will likely take up to three weeks.

He is not allowed to travel during his recovery, but will be able to carry out his official duties.

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