Panamanian president announces he has a rare syndrome

Panama’s President Laurentino Cortiso, 69, said he had leukemia, stressing that he was in good health and in “good spirits”.

In a televised statement, Laurentino Cortiso explained that at the end of May, his doctors found a “decrease in hemoglobin and white blood cell count” during routine tests.

Specialists recommended a bone marrow biopsy and sending samples to an American laboratory, and he was diagnosed with “medium risk” myelodysplastic syndrome, a type of cancer that prevents the production of blood cells.

Cortiso indicated that in July he will undergo a second examination in the US city of Houston to determine the extent of the disease.

“I want to say that I feel good and in a good mood and will continue my usual work,” he added.

“The illness diagnosed in the president is a type of leukemia,” Julio Sandoval, a doctor who specializes in internal medicine and intensive care, told AFP.

This type of cancer causes low hemoglobin levels, abnormal levels of platelets and white blood cells, which makes the patient feel tired and weak, and leads to weight loss, Sandoval said.

Sandoval pointed out that the disease may be due to “a genetic disease that develops asymptomatically and manifests itself after the age of sixty.”

Source: AFP

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