Chavez says 'first cycle' of chemo completed

July 22, 2011 - 12:30 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday he has completed his "first cycle" of chemotherapy in Cuba and plans to begin a second phase.

Chavez made the remark in a telephone call carried live on state television on Friday during a speech by his vice president, Elias Jaua.

He said the first phase of treatment has gone well and he has also gained weight. He said next will come a "second cycle" of chemotherapy. It's not clear how soon that could begin.

Chavez's call was the first time he has addressed the nation on television since leaving for Cuba last Saturday to begin chemotherapy. His only remarks until Friday had come in dozens of messages posted on his Twitter account.

The 56-year-old Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba on June 20 to remove a cancerous tumor. He hasn't said what type of cancer he has been diagnosed with or specified where exactly it was located, saying only that it was in his pelvic region. He says chemotherapy is necessary to ensure cancer cells don't reappear.

"I've completed the first cycle of chemotherapy treatment," Chavez said. "This cycle finished, I should tell you, successfully."

Chavez likened it to a "bombardment."

"It's the bomb against the illness," he said.

Chavez said he feels a "will to live that has sprung up inside me like a volcano."

"I'm in the best mood possible," he said.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez he has completed his "first cycle" of chemotherapy in Cuba.

Chavez made the remark in a telephone call carried live on state television on Friday.

He says the first phase of treatment has gone well and he has also gained weight. He says next will come a "second cycle" of chemotherapy. It's not clear how soon that could begin.