Saturday, 27 December 2008

Cambodia's Former King Has Cancer For Third Time - Web Site

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AFP)--Cambodia's former king Norodom Sihanouk has been diagnosed with cancer a third time, according to a message posted on his Web site.

The 86-year-old, who left for Beijing in July to receive medical treatment for another illness, wrote on Thursday that his Chinese doctors had found a new cancer, but he didn't disclose where it was.

Sihanouk has suffered from a number of ailments, including cancer, diabetes and hypertension.

Despite giving up his role as monarch, he remains a prominent figure in Cambodia who often uses messages to weigh in on matters affecting the country.

In his latest message he said the doctors, who had treated his two previous cancers, were optimistic about his treatment, saying the "current one is situated in a part of my body which will allow relatively simpler and easier treatment."

In another letter marked "confidential" but also posted on his Web site, the former king said his planned return to Cambodia in February would be delayed for treatment.

He said he will return when "my eminent (Chinese) doctors shall have healed me."

Sihanouk was first diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma, a cancer affecting blood cells crucial to the immune system, in 1993.

The cancer began in his prostate, and recurred in 2005 in his stomach.

Earlier this month Sihanouk said his health was deteriorating and hinted that he believed he didn't have long to live.

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