U.S. Blockade Doubly Hurts Cuban Cancer Patients

U.S. Blockade Doubly Hurts Cuban Cancer PatientsHavana, Oct 20. -The economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba for almost half a century has a severe impact on cancer patients, who are prevented from living longer due to a lack of medicine and technology.

This longstanding policy has caused Cuba an estimated $751.363 billion in losses.

One of the hardest-hit entities throughout these years has been the Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology.

According to the report The Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Blockade of the United States Against Cuba, to be presented by Havana on October 26 at the United Nations General Assembly, the prestigious scientific center is deprived of obtaining various drugs, medical equipment and supplies.

The entity can not use Radioactive iodine therapy plates for treating children and adults with retinoblastoma tumors because they are only sold in the United States, the text says.

This technology is mostly used for children, since it makes it possible to treat retinal tumors while preserving the vision of the affected eye and the facial esthetics. This is not possible when the only alternative is the removal of one eye or both, which entails serious limitations for life.

"Cuba, has no access to Temozolomide (Temodar), an specific cytostatic chemotherapy drug for tumors in the central nervous system (glioma and astrocytoma).

This disease affects approximately 250 patients annually, 30 of whom are children, it says.

The use of this drug significantly increases survival and quality of life for patients, since it has few side effects and is relatively easy to administer compared to others. (Prensa Latina)