Bad news (about Cristina Fernandez)

December 28, 2011

I wrote already twice about Argentinians president Cristina Fernandez.


This time I write about her because two days before Christmas she had a health check and was diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid gland. The cancer — a papillary thyroid carcinoma — is said to have not metastasized or affected her lymph nodes. Cristina Fernandez will undergo surgery on January 4 to remove the tumor, Vice-President Amado Boudou will take her place until January 24.

Doctors say she has a high chance of recovery and probably will not need chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Papillary carcinoma is the most common type of thyroid cancer and normally affects people under the age of 40, especially women. According to WHO statistics there are 123,000 new cases of thyroid cancer a year.

The news did strike me for several reasons:

1. Fernandez is one of several Latin American leaders diagnosed with cancer. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez underwent chemotherapy in July, Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer in August 2010. Current Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was treated for early stage lymphatic cancer in 2009 and her predecessor Lula da Silva undergoes chemotherapy for throat cancer since November.

Non of these leaders is considered a friend of the USA or an easy partner for global corporations.

Lula smoked for 50 years, one can maybe hold Philip Morris, Lorriard, or Reynolds responsible for that but not the CIA. The other cases are not so clear and while I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories and for now don’t share Hugo Chavez suspicions I keep my eyes open.


2. Iodine-131, one of the most abundant substances released by the melted reactors in Fukushima, causes thyroid cancer. Health studies following the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986 showed a significant increase in thyroid cancer in the affected areas. Argentina in the south of the globe though is for sure less effected than any northern countries.

3. I fear (and wrote about this in several blog posts) that the constantly increasing pollution of the ecosphere will result in a terrible cancer pandemic.

4. I’m a cancer surviver myself.

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