Brazil legend Pelé under palliative care amid cancer battle

82-year-old being treated only for symptoms such as pain and shortness of breath after chemotherapy suspended

Brazilian legend Pelé is receiving palliative care after chemotherapy stopped having the expected results as he battles colon cancer, newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported on Saturday.

Pelé, 82, widely considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, was admitted to hospital on Tuesday to re-evaluate his cancer treatment and was later diagnosed with a respiratory infection, according to medical reports.

His manager and the Albert Einstein Hospital, in Sao Paulo, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A medical report released on Friday said Pelé had an adequate response to an antibiotic treatment and was in a stable condition “with general improvement in health status”.


He had a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021 and has been receiving hospital treatment on a regular basis.

Folha de S. Paulo reported that chemotherapy had been suspended and that Pelé was under palliative care, and being treated only for symptoms such as pain and shortness of breath.

The newspaper also said he had a general swelling and cardiac issues when admitted to hospital earlier this week, as previously reported by ESPN Brasil.

Pelé said in an Instagram post on Thursday that he was at the hospital for a “monthly visit” and thanked his supporters for the positive messages he had received.

The former Brazil, Santos and New York Cosmos striker posted a picture of his face projected on a building in Qatar, where the World Cup is being held, next to a message saying “Get well soon”.

A sign with the same message was displayed by Brazilian fans at the Lusail Stadium on Friday ahead of the national team’s 1-0 defeat against Cameroon.