Empress Emerita Michiko Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

Society

Tokyo, Aug. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Empress Emerita Michiko has been diagnosed with breast cancer at a relatively early stage and will undergo surgery in September at the earliest, the Imperial Household Agency said Friday.

The agency said it believes that the cancer is unlikely to have spread to other areas.

According to the agency, the former Empress, 84, was found to have a mass on her left mammary gland when she was examined by echography scan as part of a periodic health checkup on July 12.

When she underwent magnetic resonance imaging at the University of Tokyo Hospital on July 15, she was diagnosed as possibly having malignant tumor. She then had tissue testing from a needle biopsy on Aug. 2 at the agency's hospital in the Imperial Palace and was diagnosed with the cancer.

The testing result was conveyed by a doctor to the Empress Emerita together with her husband, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, who abdicated the throne on April 30. The couple appeared to take the result calmly, according to the agency.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press