MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Wednesday told a televised press conference that she has stage 4 lung cancer.
She said doctors who examined her after she complained of shortness of breath found “genetic mutation” in her left lung.
Santiago said she will not undergo chemotherapy but will instead take “one tablet a day” to fight the disease, which doctors said is not spreading to other parts of her body.
“I was assured I can work,” she said.
She said the doctors don’t know how she got the disease.
Her doctors expect the cancer to degenerate after six months with the treatment, but if it does not, she said she might have to go to Mount Sinai in Los Angeles for a more extensive treatment.
Santiago sais her sister who is a doctor in Mount Sinai is constantly monitoring her lungs through X-rays and CT scans taken by a local specialty hospital and sent to the United States.
She said there’s a huge possibility that she will survive.
“I don’t know what the reaction of my enemies are. Maybe they’ll be happy because, on one hand, I might die and they could get rid of me, but on the other hand, I might survive and I will get rid of them,” she said.
Asked about how she felt about her disease, she said she is “excited” as she enters another “dimension” of her life.
The feisty senator from Iloilo has withdrawn her appointment to the International Court of Justice due to chronic fatigue.
Santiago ran in the 1992 presidential elections and lost to military’s Fidel Ramos. (MNS)