Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo a surgery tomorrow, his office announced today.
The decision to go for a surgical treatment was taken after an MRI on Lee’s prostate, performed in January, showed suspicious lesions, and a subsequent biopsy found that one out of 38 samples contained cancer cells.
Lee, who turned 63 on February 10, is expected to recover fully, Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.
It cited data from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre that shows patients with a similar medical profile and treatment have a cancer-specific survival rate of 99 per cent at 15 years.
The robot-assisted keyhole prostatectomy will be carried out by Professor Christopher Cheng, the lead urologist at the Singapore General Hospital, the statement said.
The Prime Minister will be on medical leave for one week during which Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will be acting Prime Minister. In a Facebook post, Teo wished Lee a speedy recovery.
Prostate cancer, which forms in the tissues of the prostate - a gland in the male reproductive system below the bladder - is the third most common cancer among Singaporean men, online Straits Times reported.
It is usually treated through radiation therapy, hormone therapy, surgery and chemotherapy.