Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos was examined on Tuesday amid fears of a possible relapse of the prostate cancer he was treated for in 2012.
The president was undergoing tests in the Santa Fe Foundation of Bogota, and would be flying to John Hopkins Hospital in the United States on Wednesday for further examination.
According to a press statement, the medical center, “under medical supervision … an increase was detected in PSA values. A second review was conducted for verification, which confirmed the increase.”
Doctors recommended that “the president take an additional study with technology not available in this country.”
“I admit my family and I were taken by surprise. I maintain my confidence that the results of these exams will be positive” said the president about the possible return of his cancer.
He said that he would use his “trip to Washington to meet with senators and representatives [of the] Republicans and Democrats, following our traditional bipartisan policy, in order to inform them of the new agreement and discuss with them the steps to follow with [US aid program] Peace Colombia and the post-conflict.”
He will also attend a dinner in honor of the US Vice-President Joe Biden, who he said “has been a great ally of our country.”
Santos said he was “completely healed” after a successful surgery to remove a tumor from his prostate in 2012.
Prostate cancer has a high survival rate among cancers, with a slower rate of spread and growth than many other diagnoses.
At 5 years, 99% of men who do not develop other health issues survive the disease; at ten years, the survival rate is 91%.
The president is expected to return to Colombia on Friday.