Panama's president announces he has blood cancer

The 69-year-old head of state underwent a bone marrow biopsy, samples of which were sent to a laboratory in the United States. On June 16, doctors informed him of the diagnosis of “intermediate-risk myelodysplastic syndrome”.

In a televised message, Mr. Cortizo said he would make a second assessment in July in Houston (United States) to find out the development of his disease.

“I want to say that I feel good, that I have good morale, and that I will continue to perform my usual duties,” said the president of the Central American country.

“The disease diagnosed in Mr. President is a type of blood cancer,” Julio Sandoval, a doctor specializing in internal medicine and critic, told AFP.

According to this expert, this type of cancer causes a decrease in hemoglobin and an alteration in the number of platelets and white blood cells in the patient, who may experience fatigue, lassitude, weakness, fever and undergo weight loss.

The disease could be caused “by a genetic disorder that develops silently and appears after the age of 60”, explained Mr Sandoval, adding that the life expectancy after such a diagnosis ranges “from six months to fifteen years “.

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