Hugo Chavez: Cancer Will Never Return
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez predicted Monday that he'll beat cancer now that he is undergoing a third round of chemotherapy.
Chavez made the confident forecast while speaking through an audio system to hundreds of supporters gathered outside the Venezuelan military hospital where he is being treated.
"The cancer will never return," Chavez said, prompting cheers from his supporters. "It's left, it will never return."
Emotional supporters chanted: "Chavez we love you!"
Nancy Hurtado, one of the government backers in the crowd, said she hopes Chavez recovers.
"What he's going through isn't easy, and we are supporting him," Hurtado said. "He must get through all of this."
Chavez entered the Dr. Carlos Arvelo Military Hospital on Saturday accompanied by his daughter Rosa and several aides. He says his treatment has been going well and aims to prevent reappearance of cancer cells more than two months after he underwent surgery.
"I'm going to continue my treatment, eat and rest," Chavez said as he bid farewell to the crowd outside the hospital on the grounds of Fort Tiuna, which is the nerve center for Venezuela's military.
Earlier Monday, Chavez said he was satisfied with the results of medical tests conducted Sunday shortly before he began chemotherapy. Doctors checked the president's kidneys, heart and blood, Chavez said in a message on his Twitter account.
Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba that removed a cancerous tumor from his pelvic region in June. He has not specified where the tumor was located but said the latest follow-up tests haven't detected any sign of malignant cells in his body.
He returned twice to Cuba for his first two rounds of chemotherapy.
The former paratroop commander, who is affectionately referred to as "El Comandante," by supporters has appeared with his head shaved the past few weeks after his hair began to fall out as a result of chemotherapy.
Associated Press television journalist Ricardo Nunez contributed to this report.