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‘Abnormal’ Cells Found After King Hussein’s Operation

August 22, 1992

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ The royal palace announced Saturday that ″abnormal″ cells were found in sections of King Hussein’s urinary tract removed during surgery.

On Friday, Israel’s mass daily Yedioth Ahronoth had cited an unidentified source on the king’s medical team as saying doctors removed a cancerous growth from a duct connecting the kidney to the bladder.

The statement by the royal palace did not say if the cells were malignant. But it quoted Samir Farraj, Hussein’s private physician, as saying the surgery was ″a permanent cure″ and that the king’s complete recovery was expected without further treatment or anti-cancer therapy.

Farraj, a dermatologist and internist, is with Hussein at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where the 56-year-old monarch was hospitalized last Monday.

The surgery Thursday removed a blockage that had caused a narrowing of the ureter, a muscular tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. The left kidney also was removed.

″The results of the biopsy taken during the operation from his majesty’s left ureter showed signs of abnormal cells,″ the palace said.

″Therefore, the decision was made, in the presence of the Jordanian medical team, to remove the left ureter and the left kidney as a precautionary measure.″

The abnormal cells were only present in the lower, inner part of the left ureter and there was no evidence of any spread, the palace said.

Hussein’s urinary tract problem was detected by doctors at Hussein Medical Center, an army hospital in Amman where the monarch was admitted for treatment of urinary tract bleeding.

He flew to the United States because advanced techniques and equipment for urology were unavailable in Jordan. The monarch was accompanied by his American-born wife, Queen Noor, and a team of physicians headed by Farraj, a lieutenant general in the Jordanian army.

Saturday’s statement said Hussein was in ″good health and on his way to a complete recovery without any complications.″

It said that the king will be released from the hospital in a week and ″there is no need for any further treatment or postoperative radiotherapy.″

″The surgery, which was a total success, is considered a permanent cure,″ Farraj said.

Dr. Youssef Qussous, head of medical services at the Hussein Medical Center in Amman, said Farraj told him Hussein was out of bed and sitting in the reception hall.

During Hussein’s reign, which began in 1953 when he was 17, Jordan has developed from a backward, resource-poor land into a relatively prosperous and cosmopolitan nation. He has survived several attempts at his overthrow or assassination.

The king underwent surgery on his right knee in January 1992. Doctors said then they found a ″small gland″ in the back of the knee that bothered him when walking. After tests, they reported it was an inflammation and that it was not cancerous.

The usually athletic monarch also was hospitalized in June 1991 for an irregular heart beat, which his doctors said resulted from exhaustion and overwork.

The monarch has often complained of a skin rash, mostly on the face. Doctors have said the king has sensitive skin and that there were no signs of skin cancer.

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