Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is beginning chemotherapy to treat a cancerous tumor in his larynx discovered on Saturday by doctors who say his chances of a full recovery are excellent.

Lula's doctors say Monday he is also expected to undergo radiation therapy, likely in January.

The tumor was detected over the weekend. A statement from Sao Paulo's Sirio Libanes Hospital says it was caught in its early stages.

Roberto Kalil, one of Lula's doctors, says the chances of a full recovery are excellent and that the 66-year-old Lula is otherwise in good health.

Lula was first elected in 2002. He left office on Jan. 1 of this year with an approval rating of 87 percent.

Brazil underwent rapid economic growth during Lula's  time in office. The nation's political power on the international stage also rose.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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