Hugo Chavez to undergo further chemotherapy

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The Independent US

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has said he will start another round of cancer chemotherapy soon and expects to become bald within days.

Mr Chavez said he and his doctors were considering whether he should return to Cuba for his second phase of chemotherapy or receive the treatment in Venezuela.

He spent a week in Cuba last month for his first round of chemotherapy, and he appeared on television with a close-shaved head on Monday saying his hair had begun to fall out.

"In the coming hours, I should being the second phase of chemotherapy," Mr Chavez said live on state television.

"My hair continues to fall out. I'm going to be totally bald in a few days, with my new look," Mr Chavez said. "I will inform the country, of course, when the second phase of chemotherapy is going to begin, where we're going to have it."

The 57-year-old president says the treatment aims to ensure that malignant cells do not reappear after he underwent surgery in Cuba that removed a cancerous tumour from his pelvic region.

Mr Chavez said the bulk of his treatment has been based in Cuba because "that's where the detection occurred and everything is there, all the equipment, the medical team and very specialized facilities." But he also said his medical team is "evaluating the possibility of doing another session here."

Mr Chavez said that in his next round of treatment he could receive up to four doses of chemotherapy drugs.