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Israeli PM has prostate cancer

  • Story Highlights
  • Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is to have surgery to remove a tumor
  • But he says the prostate cancer is not life threatening in any way
  • He said the tumor was detected 10 days ago during a routine checkup
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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced Monday he will undergo a surgical procedure in the coming months to remove the early stages of a "cancerous tumor" in his prostate.

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Olmert said his cancer is not life-threatening.

"The tumor is not life threatening in any way," he said, noting he plans to continue as prime minister.

Olmert scheduled a news conference with his doctors to make the announcement, even though as he pointed out, he was not obligated to release his medical records to the public under Israeli law.

"The citizens of Israel have a right to know and I feel I have the responsibility... to inform the public of this matter," he said.

Olmert said the tumor was detected 10 days ago during a routine checkup shortly before his trip to Russia. He said he will not need radiation or chemotherapy.

At the news conference, his doctors said the tumor is very treatable, shows no signs of spreading, and there is no urgency to remove it.

The Palestinian government wishes Olmert "a speedy recovery," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said.

"(We) aim to continue working with him towards our joint endeavor of a two-state solution," Erakat said.

Olmert replaced Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last year after Sharon suffered a massive stroke and remains comatose. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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