Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced Wednesday that he was returning to politics after being told that his larynx cancer was in complete remission.
I will return to political life because I believe Brazil needs to continue to grow, develop, generate jobs, improve the lives of millions and millions of Brazilians who managed to enter the middle class... as well as those who dream of joining the middle class, he said in a video message.
Earlier Lula, 66, underwent exams at Sao Paulo's Sirio-Libanes hospital following weeks of radiation therapy sessions. And doctors reported that his cancer, diagnosed last October, was in complete remission according to Jose Chrispiniano, a spokesman for Lula's Citizenry Institute.
Nuclear magnetic resonance and laryngoscopy exams show the absence of any visible tumour, the hospital said in a statement, adding that the popular former president would continue to have phonoaudiology sessions and periodic checks.
In the video, a bald, moustachioed Lula wearing a black shirt appeared a little older and visibly thinner than usual.
Today, I received the most important piece of news a human being can receive after a five-month treatment against cancer, Lula said.
I would like to seize this opportunity to thank God, because without him this would probably not have happened, he added in the message posted on his foundation's website: (http://www.institutolula.org).
Lula also thanked his wife Marisa, doctors and staff of Sirio-Lebanes hospital, the whole of Brazil and President Dilma Rousseff, which with her experience was an inspiration each time we spoke and she told me: Strength, president. You will overcome.”
From New Delhi, where she was attending a summit of the BRICS (Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa) bloc of emerging powers, Rousseff earlier said her predecessor and mentor had telephoned her to announce the good news.
I am very happy, said Rousseff, who herself recovered from a lymphatic cancer diagnosed in 2009. ”I was expecting it. But having the certainty (that Lula is cured) is very good.”
Earlier this month, Lula, a former smoker, was released from the hospital following treatment for a lung infection. Doctors say that developing a lung infection is common for someone whose defences are weak after three cycles of chemotherapy and 33 radiation therapy sessions.