Nelson Mandela diagnosed with prostrate cancer

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- Former president Nelson Mandela has been diagnosed with microscopic prostate cancer and is to undergo a seven-week radiotherapy course with curative intent, a reliable source said Tuesday.
An official of the Nelson Mandela Foundation told PANA that the cancer is not of a high grade and should not decrease Mandela's life span.
"Many men of the former president's age have this condition.
Nevertheless, based on current knowledge about this tumour and how it should best be treated, Mandela's doctors have decided to commence treatment," said Mandela's spokesman Zelda Le Grange.
She said medical tests at the end of last year indicated a high level of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in Mandela's blood.
This antigen was a marker for prostate gland cancer, and Mandela had since been undergoing regular tests to assess his PSA levels and physical status.
Although the clinical picture revealed no alteration in his status, there has been a slight rise in the blood level of the PSA," the foundation said.
"In view of this, a decision was made to biopsy the prostate gland, which confirmed the presence of microscopic cancer within the prostrate.
" But Le Grange said the former president's treatment would be localised to the prostate gland, and he will not require any surgery or chemotherapy.
She said Mandela's general health remained excellent, and he would be able to maintain most of his local and overseas commitments.
The world statesman celebrated his 83rd birthday last week and despite his age, is showing no signs of slowing down.

24 july 2001 12:05:00

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