Former president Corazon Aquino has been diagnosed with colon cancer, her daughter, Kris, and son Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III revealed Monday.
Kris said her mother underwent several tests after being hospitalized for high blood pressure last December.
"Our mom wanted to know what was wrong with her, and with her family by her side, she submitted herself to a check-up and several tests. The results showed that our mother is suffering from cancer of the colon," Kris told ABS-CBN Chief Correspondent Korina Sanchez.
Kris said the former president started losing her appetite last December despite being a healthy eater. "She likes to eat fruits and vegetables. We just want to emphasize that throughout our lives, she's never been sick. The time we brought her to the hospital last Christmas was the first time," she said.
"She lost 10 pounds in a span of about two weeks," she added.
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Kris also revealed that her maternal grandmother was diagnosed with the same condition and had to undergo treatment in Boston.
According to Dr. Armand Crisostomo, a colorectal surgeon and president of the Philippine College of Surgeons, colon and rectal cancer are the 3rd and 4th leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the country.
Aquino will undergo chemotherapy starting tomorrow, Tuesday, and may eventually have to undergo surgery for her colon cancer, two of her children said Monday.
• Ex-President Aquino has colon cancer
Senator Aquino said his mother's chemotherapy will start Tuesday with a "mild, continuous dose."
He and his sister, Kris Aquino, declined to say at what stage their mother's cancer is at.
"We prefer not to," Kris said.
She said the "actual confirmation" of her mother's colon cancer came last Wednesday.
Mrs. Aquino has lost ten pounds since December when she started feeling ill.
Senator Aquino said surgery may "eventually" have to be done on his mother.
“Everything according to his will”
Kris said the Aquino family opted to tell the public because they still believe in the power of prayers in the hope that millions of Filipinos will pray for the former president.
When asked if her mother will struggle to beat the cancer, Kris said, “When she found out, being a person of faith, said: ‘Is that so? Well, then God will take care of me.’”
Kris added: “She said everything is according to His will.”
Kris said her mother will not waver on her faith.
“Our mother is the one suffering but she never asked, never wavered in her faith in God. She's gone to mass twice with Fr. Arevalo. Perhaps, it's us, her children, who will have to be strong,” Kris said.
Kris' brother, Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, also urged the public to respect their family's privacy.
Symbol of restoration of democracy
Aquino, widow of the late Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr., became president of the Philippines after the ouster of President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.
She has drawn praise for leading the struggle for democratic restoration.
She was selected Time Magazine's Woman of the Year in 1986 and is a recipient of the 1998 Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding.
After she left the presidency in 1992, she focused her work on microfinance projects for the poor, social welfare and scholarship assistance through the Benigno S. Aquino Foundation.