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Brazil’s Lula has throat cancer

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been diagnosed with throat cancer.

Lula cancer 2011 10 29Enlarge
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (R) recieves the Lech Walesa Award from Lech Walesa (L) on Sept. 29, 2011. The former president of Brazil was awarded the prize for his efforts to achieve peaceful cooperation and understanding between nations, to strengthen the role of developing countries in world affairs and to reduce social inequality. (ADAM NURKIEWICZ /AFP/Getty Images)

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been diagnosed with throat cancer, CNN reports.

The 66-year-old will start chemotherapy in the next few days to treat a tumor in his larynx, the Sirio-Libanes Hospital in Sao Paulo said in a statement, BBC News reports.

Lula, as he is widely known, reportedly gave up smoking after 50 years in March 2010, according to BBC News.

The former president helped shape Brazil into a major world economy during his two terms in office between 2003 and 2010, CNN reports. Presidents are not allowed to run for three consecutive terms.

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According to Reuters:

Speculation has swirled that Lula could run for the presidency again in 2014 if [current Brazilian President Dilma] Rousseff, his political protegee, were to decide not to seek reelection. Lula, who left office with an approval rating of 87 percent, was also expected to play a key role in next year's municipal elections, helping stump for candidates from his left-leaning Workers' Party, known as the PT.

However, Reuters notes, Lula’s cancer diagnoses may change plans for his political future.

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