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French president admits to past prostate surgery

Wednesday - 12/4/2013, 5:18am  ET

French President Francois Hollande gestures as he delivers a speech during the 30th anniversary closing session of Sofiproteol, France's largest oilseed crusher, in Paris, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool)

PARIS (AP) -- French President Francois Hollande has acknowledged having prostate surgery a year before he was elected, but his office says his health is now fine.

The admission is sensitive because Hollande's political mentor, former President Francois Mitterrand, kept the French public in the dark for years during his presidency about the prostate cancer that eventually killed him.

Hollande, 59, issued a statement Wednesday saying that he was hospitalized for a few days in February 2011 for benign prostate hyperplasia, or enlargement. The statement didn't provide further details about the operation, and said that no further medical attention was needed.

Hollande has published clean health records twice since his election.

Prostate enlargement is fairly common in older men and doesn't necessarily increase chances of cancer.

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