Duterte: I won’t seek treatment if ‘growth’ turns out to be stage-three cancer

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President Duterte has said he would not seek treatment if a “growth” discovered during an endoscopy turns out to be cancer.

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Duterte admitted yesterday (Thursday, October 4) that he spent an hour on Wednesday at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City for tests, a follow-up to an endoscopy and colonoscopy he underwent weeks ago.

This contradicted his spokesman Harry Roque, who had earlier denied that the president had a hospital visit, insisting he had simply taken a day off.

The president revealed the development during the joint command conference with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police at the presidential palace yesterday.

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Speaking at a news briefing today, Roque said: “Endoscopy is what he underwent. And I think endoscopy was recommended from his own words, in the general staff command conference, because they wanted just to be sure that there was a growth, and they wanted to know more about the growth.”

Asked if the growth could be a tumour, Roque said he did not know.

“Beyond what he has said, he is entitled to privacy in this matter. I do not know if I am still here next week, then I will tell perhaps we need to issue a medical bulletin, whether or not, it’s serious.” He added that the president was only constitutionally mandated to inform the public if he had serious illness.

“Perhaps we would need to bring in your physician because it’s the only way to stop all talk about your health. But I do not know also where I will be next week,” he said.

Roque had earlier said in the same press briefing that he was mulling whether to quit his job after admitting that he did not know the president had been in hospital.

The 73-year-old president yesterday suggested that he would not seek treatment if diagnosed with stage three cancer.

He said: “I will not prolong my agony in this office or anywhere.”

“I don’t know where I’m now physically but I have to wait for that. But I will tell you if it’s cancer, it’s cancer.”

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