Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, a statement from his office said today.
The statement, which was also posted on Lee's Facebook account, revealed that the cancer was detected after he underwent an MRI of the prostate last month.
Doctors discovered some suspicious lesions and following a biopsy, one of the lesions was found to contain cancer cells.
Singapore's TODAY Online reports that Lee will undergo surgery to remove his prostate gland tomorrow.
The procedure, called a robot-assisted keyhole prostatectomy, will be carried out by the Singapore General Hospital’s lead urologist Prof Christopher Cheng.
Lee was said to have decided on the surgical treatment option on the advice of a panel of doctors led by Cheng, and is expected to recover fully.
Citing data from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in the United States, the statement added that statistically, patients with similar medical profile and treatment have a cancer specific survival rate of 99% at 15 years.
Lee will be on medical leave for one week after the surgery, and his duties will be covered by deputy PM Teo Chee Hean for the duration.
According to TODAY, this is not Lee's first battle with cancer. In 1992, he was diagnosed with lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy. His cancer is in remission.
Prostate cancer is one of the most lethal form of cancer affecting men.