Argentine president cancer-free

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez didn't have cancer after all. After some of Argentina's leading cancer surgeons completely removed Fernandez's thyroid gland, tests showed no presence of any cancerous cells in the tissue.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez didn't have cancer after all. After some of Argentina's leading cancer surgeons completely removed Fernandez's thyroid gland, tests showed no presence of any cancerous cells in the tissue. (NATACHA PISARENKO / Associated Press, File)
Posted: January 08, 2012

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - President Cristina Fernandez didn't have cancer after all.

After some of Argentina's leading cancer surgeons completely removed Fernandez's thyroid gland, tests showed no presence of any cancerous cells in the tissue, presidential spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro said Saturday.

"The Presidential Medical Unit has the satisfaction of communicating that the team at the Austral University Hospital informed that tissue studies ruled out the presence of cancerous cells in the thyroid glands, thus modifying the initial diagnosis," Scoccimarro said.

Fernandez doesn't even have to swallow the radioactive iodine patients usually take after thyroid cancer surgery to make sure any remaining cancer cells are killed, the spokesman said.

Fernandez, who underwent the surgery Wednesday just 25 days after beginning her second term, is out of the hospital and recovering at the presidential residence in suburban Olivos.

The trouble is that without her thyroid gland, the 58-year-old leader faces a lifetime of hormone-replacement therapy.

Preoperative thyroid cancer diagnoses are notoriously difficult. Experts say figuring out whether growths are benign or malignant may be impossible without removing at least part of thyroid, and many doctors opt to remove the entire gland just to be sure.

The news prompted raucous cheers and chants from several hundred supporters holding vigil for days outside the hospital, carrying signs saying, "Be Strong, Cristina!"

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