Archbishop suffering from cancer

Archbishop Christodoulos, the head of the Church of Greece, is being treated for cancer, doctors at the Aretaio Hospital in Athens revealed yesterday. Doctors said that they had removed a tumor from the archbishop’s intestine during surgery last week but tests had revealed he was also suffering from hepatoma, a usually cancerous tumor that occurs in the liver. The hospital’s head surgeon Dionysis Voros said Christodoulos’s condition was treatable. «The position and development [of the cancer] in the liver suggests that it can be dealt with,» said Voros. Christodoulos, 68, was admitted to hospital 13 days ago suffering from intestinal problems. Doctors revealed that they had successfully removed an intestinal tumor but during surgery observed a problem with the archbishop’s liver. Voros said the two cancers were not directly related and that Christodoulos’s liver was functioning normally. A decision on the archbishop’s treatment will be made in due course, the surgeon added. Doctors clarified that they had made the details of the archbishop’s condition public at his own request. They said it was the first time a public figure had made such a request. The archbishop is expected to be moved out of his room in the intensive-care unit by the end of the week and will likely be discharged from the hospital a week later. Sources close to Christodoulos said they were upset by the speculation about the archbishop’s possible successor in the event he dies.

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