Brazil's former president Lula speaks during an economic forum in Santa Cruz
Brazil's Lula has cancer. Reuters

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former President of Brazil who served two very successful terms, has been diagnosed with throat cancer

The Sirio-Libanes [Syrian-Lebanese] Hospital in Sao Paulo said in a statement that Lula, 66, has a tumor in his larynx, a statement from the

After multiple investigations, initial chemotherapy will start in the next few days. The patient is well, the statement read.

The Syrian-Lebanese Hospital specializes in cancer treatments.

Lula served two terms from 2002-2010 and is widely credited for making Brazil’s economy into one of the world’s most powerful and lifting almost 30 million of people out of poverty.

When his last term ended in December 2010, he enjoyed a record 80 percent approval ratings. Brazilian law prevents presidents from three consecutive terms.

A former labor union leader and son of a factor worker, Lula was the first leftist to run Brazil in a half-century.