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Pop music star Elton John does not have throat...

SYNDEY, Australia -- Pop music star Elton John does not have throat cancer and is expected to make a full recovery following successful throat surgery this week, his doctor said Thursday.

John's Australian publicist, Patti Mostyn, said the 40-year-old singer had been released from St. Vincent's Private Hospital where he underwent a 30-minute operation Tuesday on his vocal chords.

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'The biopsy has shown that Elton John has a non-malignant lesion. He is expected to make a full recovery,' the singer's doctor, Dr. John Tonkin, said in a statement. Tonkin, a leading Australian throat specialist, did not elaborate.

Australian newspapers had widely reported that he was suffering from nodules on his vocal chords, but the hospital did not confirm the reports.

Mostyn said it was not known when John would be back on stage. 'He is resting, he's not talking and is writing notes to everyone as he gives his throat a chance to recover from the exploratory surgery,' Mostyn said. 'He must have voice rest for a week to 10 days.'

John plans to stay in Australia at least six weeks to recover and has no definite plans after that, Mostyn said. The operation forced the cancelation of a 32-concert tour of the United States.

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Mostyn said messages of support from fans was 'phenomenal.'

'He has received hundreds of letters, cards and telegrams from all over the world. Elton has been overwhelmed by the support,' Mostyn said, adding that the singer would try and answer all the mail.

John was admitted to hospital Monday for exploratory surgery after suffering serious throat problems for 18 months. He was forced to pull out of his final concert in Perth in November because of 'sudden illness.' A half-hour before he was due on stage, his voice weakened and he developed a sore throat.

John has been on an international tour for more than a year. Since the tour began in the United States in September 1985, he has performed 200 shows worldwide.

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