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No cancer found in Argentine president: spokesman

January 8, 2012

Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner has been found not to have cancer after all, her spokesman said Saturday, in a reversal as dramatic as the initial diagnosis that resulted in the removal of her thyroid.

An examination of the thyroid removed in a three and a half hour operation “ruled out the presence of cancer cells, thus modifying the initial diagnosis,” Kirchner’s spokesman, Alfredo Scoccimarro, said.

He said Kirchner, 58, had left the private Austral hospital in Pilar, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Buenos Aires, and was convalescing at her official residence in the northern suburb of Olivos.

After a biopsy in late December, Kirchner’s doctors diagnosed her with thyroid cancer and the president underwent surgery on Wednesday to have it removed.

But the follow-up histopathologic examination found that while there were nodules in both lobes of the president’s thyroid gland, there was no cancer, Scoccimarro said.

The official medical report said the nodules were identified as follicular adenomas, which are benign tumors of the thyroid gland.

With the new diagnosis, Kirchner’s medical team “considers that the surgical treatment undertaken is sufficient and the administration of radioactive iodine is no longer necessary,” the spokesman said.

The president “is resting normally and is in optimal general health, on the basis of which the medical team has authorized her release,” he said.

Medical experts said the abrupt turnaround in the diagnosis was not so surprising.

“In cases of this type, it is something that can happen,” Ernesto Ibarra Puente, a specialist in neck surgery, told the press. “The initial diagnosis was given due to a papillary cell, and the surgeon, a prestigious specialist, decided to operate.”

“A second biopsy appears to have found nothing,” he said, but an operation would still be necessary “because there could be micro carcinomas and one cannot do 80 biopsies.”

Papillary tumors are the most common form of thyroid cancer, and the most susceptible to treatment.

Alicia Gauna, the former president of the Argentine Endocrinology and Metabolism Society, agreed that “once follicular adenomas were confirmed, the illness was resolved with the surgery.”

But the latest turn of events was still unexpected, as dramatic in its way as the bombshell announcement on December 27 that the president had cancer, less than a month after she had been sworn in to a second term in office.

The news, which seemed to have made her the fifth Latin American leader to fall prey to cancer, caused an outpouring of emotion in a country that had just re-elected Kirchner with 54 percent of the vote.

Hundreds of Argentines, including many members of her Peronist party, gathered outside the hospital on hearing the news Tuesday, to follow her progress hour by hour through the long operation that ensued.

Every time a spokesman read out a favorable medical report, the crowd outside the Austral clinic, some in tears, would explode with joy amid shouts of “Bravo, Cristina!” and banners that read “Courage, Cristina!”

In 2011, the Argentine president had been forced to interrupt her activities on three occasions due to bouts of low blood pressure.

She has taken a medical leave until January 24, and in the interim the powers of the presidency are being exercised by Vice President Amado Boudou, the former economy minister who also was recently sworn in to office.

Kirchner, who cuts a stylish figure in high heels and lacquered nails, has had a turbulent political career alongside her husband and presidential predecessor Nestor Kirchner, who died of a heart attack October 27 2010.

Article source: http://news.yahoo.com/argentine-president-does-not-cancer-160921679.html


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