BOGOTA – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on his prostate in 2012, said on Tuesday that he would travel to the United States for medical tests after an examination raised concerns of a relapse.
The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize recipient said at the Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogota hospital, where he underwent tests on Tuesday, that he would travel to the United States on Wednesday, have more tests taken the following day and return to Colombia on Friday.
The president added that a recent examination that showed an alteration in his prostatic antigen levels took him by surprise.
“This news took my family and me by surprise. I remain confident that the results of these new tests will be positive,” he added.
Santos said he had asked Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogota director Adolfo Llinas to inform the country about the results of the tests he underwent there once this diagnostic stage has concluded.
Minutes earlier, the physician read a statement in which he said “an increase in the prostatic antigen levels was detected” in a routine follow-up examination and that a second test confirmed that result.
The physician added that in light of these findings the hospital recommended that Santos undergo complementary tests at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center in Baltimore as soon as possible.
The president said that, as is customary, he asked for congressional authorization to travel.
In October 2012, Santos underwent successful surgery to extract a tumor from his prostate. Days later, the president said he had been given a clean bill of health.
He said that during his upcoming U.S. visit he would attend a gala dinner in honor of Vice President Joe Biden, whom he described as a “great ally of Colombia.”
Santos said he also planned to meet with Democratic and Republican senators to inform them about the modified peace agreement reached over the weekend with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrilla group and discuss upcoming steps in the post-conflict phase.