Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez announced Tuesday that he has cancer and will have a more complete diagnosis in coming days.
"In a tomographic study, a right pulmonary nodule was found, with very clear characteristics that it could be malignant," President Vázquez said.
The president said he feels good and has not felt any symptoms related to the disease. He expects to have a broader picture of his prospects and possible treatments after undergoing additional exams.
"This was a finding as a result of periodic check-ups that I do and that all citizens should do," he said.
Vázquez will leave his position next week for a couple of days to carry out studies. From then, decisions will be made in agreement with the doctor of the Presidency, Mario Zelarayán, who will propose which course of treatment to follow.
The president said yesterday that if he has to carry out any treatment it will take place in Uruguay because "advanced medical technology that places us within the first countries of the world."
Vázquez, 79, is set to be in office until March 2020. He is an oncologist. On several occasions, he has said he chose the profession after his parents and a sister died from cancer. He was a smoker until he quit aged 24.
In 2011, he wrote a book entitled Crónica de un mal amigo ("Chronicle of a Bad Friend"), which included reflections on his experiences fighting cancer and testimonies from his patients.
During his first presidential term from 2005 to 2010, Vázquez championed some of the strictest tobacco regulations in the world.
His wife, María Auxiliadora Delgado, died three weeks ago. Local media said the cause was a heart attack.