Singapore prime minister diagnosed with prostate cancer

Lee Hsien Loong pap60 party rally

Prime Minister Office has released a statement on Sunday that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and will undergo surgery to remove his prostate gland on Monday 16 February 2015.

The statement further states that the the robot-assisted keyhole prostatectomy will be carried out by Prof Christopher Cheng, the lead Urologist at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

In January, Mr Lee had undergone an MRI of the prostate which showed suspicious lesions. A subsequent biopsy found that one out of 38 samples contained cancer cells.

Mr Lee decided on the surgical treatment option on the advice of a panel of doctors led by Prof Cheng, and is expected to recover fully.

Data from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre show that patients with similar medical profile and treatment have a cancer specific survival rate of 99% at 15 years.

Mr Lee will be on medical leave for one week. During this period, Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, and Coordinating Minister for National Security, will be Acting Prime Minister.

In 1992, Lee was diagnosed with lymphoma and underwent a three-month period of chemotherapy. When his treatment began, he relinquished his position as the Minister for Trade and Industry, though he continued to be a Deputy Prime Minister. His chemotherapy was successful, and his cancer has since gone into remission.