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Retired King Flies to Beijing for Check-Up

Former king Norodom Sihanouk left for Beijing Thursday, for routine medical check-ups to prevent a resurgence of cancer, according to a royal announcement.

King Norodom Sihamoni, who took the throne when his influential father abdicated in 2004, is accompanying the former monarch and former queen Monineath and will receive medical check-ups, as well.

Sihanouk is 86 and has suffered from various forms of cancer since 1993. He defeated a second round of the disease in 2005, and in June announced he had beat a third. He has undergone treatment for B-cell lymphoma, a cancer of the blood cells and the immune system.

His condition requires quarterly check-ups, and he only returned to Cambodian in July. He left the country from Siem Reap, with a departure that so “no problem at all,” said Um Daravuth, a royal cabinet member.

“He doesn’t have any more problems with cancer, but the Chinese doctors are wary he could undergo a fourth cancer, because the space of time where he had cancer between 1993 and 2009 became shorter and shorter,” Um Daravuth said.

The former king, who is revered among many Cambodians, continues to have treatment for “prevention,” Um Daravuth said.

According to a royal statement, Sihanouk is expected to return in February 2010.