Brasilia : Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who quit power Jan 1, has been diagnosed with throat cancer, the hospital where he will undergo treatment has said.
Lula, 66, underwent tests Saturday at Sao Paulo's Sirio-Libanes Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a tumour in his larynx, a hospital statement said.
The former president will begin chemotherapy sessions soon, it said.
One of the immediate recommendations made by doctors for Lula is to stop smoking for ever, a habit he has indulged in for decades.
In recent days, Lula has complained that his voice, always very deep, was now hoarser than ever, said one of his close associates.
Lula, the most popular leader in Brazil's political history, took office in 2003 and handed over power Jan 1 to Dilma Rousseff, his handpicked successor.
Rousseff was successfully treated at the same hospital for cancer of the lymphatic system that was detected in 2009. (IANS)