Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Former Cambodian king beats cancer for third time

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Cambodia's former king Norodom Sihanouk has been successfully treated for a third bout of cancer, according to a handwritten royal letter posted on his website.

The 86-year-old, who left for Beijing in July last year to receive medical treatment for other illnesses, thanked his "most eminent" and "devoted" Chinese doctors who have been treating him there.

"Indeed, the terrific result of their (incomparable) care is here: my third cancer (B-cell lymphoma) has completely disappeared," Sihanouk said in the letter dated Monday.

The former monarch announced the discovery of the new cancer in late December.

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.

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

One of Asia's longest-serving monarchs, Sihanouk abruptly quit the throne in October 2004 in favor of his elder son, Norodom Sihamoni, citing old age and health problems.

Despite abdicating, Sihanouk remains a prominent figure in Cambodia and often uses messages on his website to comment on matters of state.

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