Brazil’s president-elect, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who suffered from laryngeal cancer a decade ago, underwent surgery early Monday morning to remove a nodule on his left vocal cord. During the intervention, carried out under total anesthesia, a biopsy confirmed that the white spot removed was not cancerous, according to the medical report released by his team. The leftist, who just turned 77, will become the oldest person to assume power in Brazil on January 1.
Lula returned this weekend from his first international trip since the election won by the minimum on the 30th for the still president, the far-right Jair Bolsonaro. The next president of Brazil was at the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el Sheikh, where he promised that the country that hosts the bulk of the Amazon will once again become fully involved in environmental policy and the fight against climate change, and then traveled to Portugal, where he was received by the highest authorities.
The political veteran entered the São Paulo Sirio-Libanés hospital on Sunday to undergo surgery this morning that lasted 40 minutes. The nodule has been removed with a laser. Lula’s hospitalization and operation were revealed by his spokesperson only when they had already concluded and he was convalescing, but already back in his house.
The local press assures that he plans to travel to Brasilia on Wednesday to resume negotiations to form a government and seek ways to finance the policies he intends to undertake. They add the means that he can already speak, but that he will have to rest his vocal cords until the wound heals.
The nodule was detected in routine tests that he underwent before traveling abroad. He was dragging a hoarseness that had worsened as the long electoral campaign progressed. At the end of 2011, a tumor was detected that was treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions. The doctors who have treated him now rule out that the current lesion is related to that disease, but they have wanted to intervene because this type of lesion usually leads to cancerous tumors; it occurs in 10% of cases, but the risk rises after the age of 65.
Lula celebrated his birthday a few days before winning the most polarized elections in Brazil’s recent history. That, an electoral victory, was the gift that he asked for from his compatriots. Although for Brazilians the age of the founder of the Workers’ Party is little or nothing relevant, when asked by the press about the issue, the Brazilian usually answers that he is younger than US President Joe Biden, who has just turned 80, and that he has “the energy of the 30s and the tenacity of the 20s.” Every morning he exercises.
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