File photo of Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner giving thumbs-up in Buenos Aires
File photo of Argentina's President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, giving thumbs-up in Buenos Aires Reuters

The president of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who swept into a second term in October, has been diagnosed with cancer, the Buenos Aires government announced.

The cancer, a spokesman for the government said, is located in her thyroid gland and has not spread elsewhere in her body.

Alfredo Scoccimarro, a spokesman for the president, identified the cancer as a papillary thyroid carcinoma, but added that the prognosis was very good.

Fernandez, 58, will undergo an operation on January 4. She will temporary relinquish her presidential duties until January 24 in favor of Vice-President Amado Boudou.

Fernandez’ husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, died last year after suffering a heart attack.

BBC reported that thyroid cancer is relatively rare, but can be successfully treated if it is diagnosed early. The World Health Organization indicated that only 123, 000 cases are reported around the world each year.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, more than 95 percent of adults with papillary thyroid carcinoma survive at least 10 years.

Cancer appears to be striking leaders across Latin America. Three prominent South American chiefs, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, the president of Paraguay Fernando Lugo, and former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have all undergone cancer treatments over the past year.

Even the current President of Dilma Rousseff was treated for lymphatic cancer two years ago.

Fernandez remains extremely popular in Argentina, having shepherded the country through a period of strong economic growth.