Years, not months

Kudos to José de Cordova and Ezequiel Minaya for getting us the most comprehensive, digestible overview yet of what we know about Chávez’s battle with cancer. According to their reporting, chances are that what the president has is Stage 2 or Stage 3 colon cancer. If that’s the case, there’s a 70-95% chance he’ll still be around five years from now.

Even in the worst case scenario – Stage 4 – Chávez is still probably measuring his remaining time among us in years, not months. Cancer treatment has come a long long way in recent years, and we’re now to the point where most cancers can be gotten into remission. Once. And after they’ve gone into remission, they can stay in remission for years – allowing patients to live really quite well.

I think there’s an inbuilt tendency for people to be unduly pessimistic about cancer survival rates: after all, most of us base what we (think we) know about cancer on the stories of people close to us who’ve had it. But often those stories will be 5 or 10 or 15 years out of date and, in a field like this, that’s an eternity.

“Metastasis,” in particular, used to rhyme with “te fregaste”. No longer. With new, new generation chemo, advanced-stage cancer that would certainly have killed you in a few months if you’d gotten it 10 years ago is now quite often survivable for several years.

So it’s best to be clear about it: years, not months.

57 thoughts on “Years, not months

  1. Tweeting this right away. It’s important to get the message out that the likeliest scenario is years, not months. As time passes by, there might also be less uncertainty about this assessment, helping political actors in both sides to adjust their behavior accordingly .

  2. Full article:
    – President Hugo Chavez appears to be suffering from colon cancer, according to two people with direct knowledge of the president’s condition.

    Mr. Chavez admitted he had cancer last week, but hasn’t disclosed what type.

    The Venezuelan president disappeared from view during a trip to Cuba in early June, prompting speculation in Venezuela that he had prostate cancer.

    Mr. Chavez has said he underwent surgery on June 11 for a pelvic abscess, an infection. He said doctors noticed several growths, one of which was cancerous. A malignant tumor was extracted on June 20.

    The president has also said he is undergoing additional treatment, which many people interpret as chemotherapy.

    Early stages of colon cancer have very high survival rates, more than 90% in most cases. If the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or beyond, however, then survival rates fall.

    The presence of an abscess is consistent with a diagnosis of colon cancer, said Alan Venook, head of the gastro-intestinal cancer program at University of California, San Francisco.

    “Cancers can cause a perforation in the colon, which can seal itself over and create an abscess,” said Dr. Venook, who doesn’t know first hand the details of Mr. Chavez’s case.

    As described by Mr. Chavez and people knowledgeable about his condition, the likelihood is that the Venezuelan president has either stage 2 or stage 3 colon cancer, Dr. Venook said. Stage 2 involves penetration of a tumor through the wall of the colon without spreading to the lymph nodes. Stage 3 involves spreading to the lymph nodes, but not to other organs.

    On average, use of chemotherapy in stage 3 improves the likelihood of survival beyond five years to about 70%, from 50% without it, Dr. Venook said.

    Chemotherapy is generally of limited benefit in stage 2 disease, but it is sometimes given if a perforation of the colon suggests to doctors that the cancer is at higher risk of reaching the lymph nodes.

    J. Randolph Hecht, director of the GI oncology program at University of California, Los Angeles’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, said if the cancer is localized and removed, patients would typically undergo chemotherapy of six months. “You wouldn’t lose your hair, the treatment is very well tolerated and it would be possible for him to work during that time,” Dr. Hecht said.

    Jose Felix Oletta, a former Venezuelan health minister under a previous administration, said he wished the government would be more open with the president’s medical information. “The health of the president is a public matter, of concern to the whole country,” he said. “When other heads of states have gotten sick, there has been much more transparency. . . . This kind of secrecy is practiced in Cuba, and now it’s being practiced in Venezuela.”

    The president was out and about on Thursday, visiting a military base and chatting with soldiers. He looked thinner, pale and showed discomfort while walking with top military officials. But he vowed to overcome his “battle” with cancer, saying “I promise that we will live and win.”

    During the visit to the base, the president suggested he had been incapacitated for days after an extensive surgery on June 20 to remove the malignant tumor.

    Brazil’s government has offered to send some doctors from private Brazilian hospitals to Venezuela to help treat Mr. Chavez, according to a person close to Brazil President Dilma Rousseff.

    “There was an offer for some doctors to travel to Caracas to help the medical team which is treating the president,” this person said. “They would be from private hospitals in Sao Paulo.”

  3. Granted, Quico.

    But this episode is a shot across Venexzuela’s bow. No matter when or how it happens, the end will be NO surprise to the Camonas and Guevaras alike, who will be ready with their narrow solutions to excluding everyone else from the public forum. Here on this blogobubble you already have a model for inclusive debate – welcoming Chavistas and oppos and even Gringos, with apologies to none for your own open biases.The rules of debate are key to the rule of law. Duque must have lots of ideas about how to keep it orderly.

    Politicians seek power, but statesmen like you guys (including Katy) seek consent. Only statesmen like you can envision how to include every stakeholder in a government and keep the powerful from capsizing it into dictatorship, and write it up in a set of rules that the army would be glad to support.

    The time to be ready is not predictable; therefore it is now.

    Best,

    Deedle

  4. Regardless of his true prognosis, this incident has ruptured his aura of invincibility and demolished the sense of inevitability of his continuance in power. It represents a window of opportunity for the Opposition, that is theirs to take advantage of… or not. If they want to get to Miraflores, they still have to earn it. It won’t happen by default.

  5. Quico, are you joking? If so, it is in very poor taste. Cancer is essentially as deadly as it has ever been. Mortality rates have barely budged compared to other diseases such as heart disease. WIth cancer it is considered a big victory if they even reduce the mortality rate 1% per year!! And to the extent it has, it is through public health initiatives such as reducing smoking, pap smears, mamagrams, and colonoscopies and the like.
    It is great to prevent cancer, but once you get it you are, with few exceptions, totally fucked. Cancer treatments consist of 150 year old technology (surgery), 100 year old technology (radiation) or 50 year old technology (chemotherapy). Great choices, huh? It is with good reason that Chavez looked as downcast as he did – even having no idea what type of cancer he has and how far advanced it is it is extremely likely he will live no wheres near a normal life span.

    You can easily google “the war no cancer” which will give you many articles on what a failure the research efforts of the past 40 years have been. I would also recommend the book “The Emperor of all Maladies, A Biography of Cancer” by Siddhartha Mukherjee if you really have much interest in the topic. In that Pulizer Prize winning book they’ll point out that statistics showing improved 5 year survival rates don’t even mean that much – those statistics are from time of diagnosis and now with better imaging equipment they find the cancer earlier. You still die just the same, but because they diagnosed you earlier it gives the statistical illusion that you lived longer.

    On the personal horror story I have from the cancer wars the person was dead in 10 weeks, surgery and chemo doing next to nothing. That wasn’t 10 or 15 years ago, it was less than six months ago. And the person was treated at two prestigious designated cancer centers in the U.S.

    Finally, cancer is one of the worst ways of dying that can be imagined, involving an incredible amount of suffering, both physically and emotionally. After watching someone die from it car or airplane crashes start looking a lot more appealing. I suppose all the Chavez haters out there can take comfort from the fact that he will die in a very cruel way and suffer tremendously before he does die.

    • I think assuming Chávez haters are rejoicing is below the belt. Really.

      • I think you overstimate many of us… Living abroad makes you think that way I´m guessing, I´m getting there, eventhough phisically I´m no longer in Caracas, mentally, the anger is still here with me, it might never go away, specially after:
        -Being blood-smellingly close on April 11th to getting shot;
        -Watching family members lose their life´s work by decree (just because HCF said expropiese!);
        -Having three family members shot for protesting against the goverment (one almost died);
        -Breathing more gas than I ever though possible;
        -Having a blood relative kidnaped for being an anti-Chavez figure;
        -Having most friends and family flee the country in panic, and start feeling very lonely in your own home; these are just some mere personal experinces, some of maaaaaaaany.
        -Seeing… Hell, I can go on for hours on end…

        I feel Chavez dying from cancer would be a glimmer of hope. The ONLY possibility for a PEACEFUL transition. So I WILL REJOICE. I´m no hypocrite, I would be happy to see him go, specially if it´s nature itself that eats him…

        If Chavez dying of natural causes is the main thing that stands between Venezuela and a SLIGHT chance of reconciliation, good ridance, say hi to ol´Lucifer for me.

        • There’s nothing more human than this, nor is there anything more dangerous.

          However angry you feel about what has been done to you and yours, try to imagine how Nelson Mandela would’ve felt after TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS on Robben Island.

          It’s because the anger was so justified that his greatness in rising above it was so inspiring. And we need to rise above it, too – precisely because the anger is so justified.

          • Quico. I honestly wish I could have that attitude, while, at the same time, the ability to distinguish it from just being passive.

            • It doesn’t have anything to do with passive.
              Just remain focus on what counts: approach average Venezuelans where we haven’t done before, create strategies to unmine the fields by carrying out no-bullshit information campaigns, give proposals, demand transparency, PLURALISM, fair, real debate.

          • What are you saying Quico? No Nelson Mandelas in this crowd, we’re just regular human beings, you included! We’re inspired by his greatness but can’t reach that level of inner peace.

          • Quico,

            Were I in Nelson Mandela’s position to effect change in my country, then yes, magnanimity and compassion would be the order of the day. As it stands, though… He cannot die soon enough, or painfully enough.

            • No. What my country and family has gone through because of chavismo has hurt me. Wishing the old scumbag a painful death doesn’t disturb my sleep in the least.

        • I only care about my country’s future, about friends and family living there.

          I did not wish him cancer. But seeing how Venezuela is doing and what its likely fates are because of that man…

          I only have one regret in the fact that nature is doing what the Constitution, the law, institutions, Venezuelan society, plain decency and appeals could not do. That the aforementioned factors could not stop him. That has to be solved.

          He decided to become a tyrant and to govern amorally, and did it. Venezuelans are civil enough, or may I say passive, that no one is planning to kill or to oust him.

          If cancer somehow stops Hugo Chavez in a manner that will prevent untold suffering and death in Venezuela, it can be called providential.

          I don’t want a single human suffering to death. But I don’t want to see thousands suffering to death, and with them a whole a country. If he will just retire from public life and recover fully, I will be quite happy for him and his family, as long as he does not continue to destroy Venezuela. Else… may he die quickly and with minimal suffering.

          • I prefer Chavez to be alive. Venezuela has a cancer, and expecting the malaise will be gone just because chance removed the most obvious simptom is plainly naive, and quite dangerous.
            Venezuelans still need to learn how sick Venezuela is, and react accordingly. I am afraid that we have move a little, but people still do not understand, they do not want the medicine yet, or the chemiotherapy, or the radio required to survive. An obvious external tumor is, at least, a remainder of the cancer we have and the celerity it requires…until we internalise the need to fight it.
            I think neither the oposition “block” nor the ninis are yet prepared to accept the need and responsibility of getting into power. Now, a tonned down Chavez can be actually quite useful. May be not so much to the opposition, but within the Cahvez side. They have sumcumbed all decision to him, and have bet their future on him. Now, they begin realising how dangerous is for them the lack of institutions and procedures to balance forces and to allow a healthy succesion process. Also, more chavistas might became weary and begin jumping ships.
            Interesting times ahead
            DomingoL

      • You can count me among the tiny minority of non hypocritical Venezuelans who rejoice with whatever bad stuff life throws at Chavez. Having sympathy with Chavez, this late in the game, is like having sympathy with a serial pedophile.

        • It’s so good to put honesty over humanity or sympathy; such honesty is a great way to build civic discourse.

          It is also Mr. Chavez’ greatest victory: forget the facts and the history; just go personal.

          • gtaveledo,

            Where is Alek forgetting facts and History?Your statement (as is) makes little sense.

            An appeal to sympathy ,and emotion is exactly the lion’s part of Chavez’s ” charisma”.

            I don’t think it is important whether or not anyone wishes his death and It doesn’t make you a greater man to publicly announce your sympathy :)

            What matters is what unfolds, and how we handle it.

          • Guillermo, you can save your ‘moral lessons’ for your pupils.

            Civic discourse… Sigue esperando civic discourse panita, from your lofty little bubble, for another dozen years. While you’re on it, perhaps you can lecture the whole world about honesty building civic discourse with Gaddafi, Castro, don’t forget those in Zimbabwe, and, especially, Syrians. I am sure they’ll take your oppression-liberating wisdom with open arms.

          • Forgot to add, take your history and facts to the thousands of victims of chavismo, you can start in El Rodeo, and just glide from there.

            • Wishing for Chávez to suffer won’t actually make him suffer. But it will slowly corrode your soul.

            • FT,

              Making a religious SHOW of public self righteousness on anyone’s part does not constitute proof that you or anyone else is a good or better man than someone else, much less know what corrodes a soul.Few Venezuelans seems to understand that.Being upfront and honest does not seem to be a popular trait.When one admits his or her human emotion, bam ! the group falls on top of him .Gee It’s so wonderful to be popular :)

              hmmmmm I wonder how this ties into the problem with our elections :)

    • In my family runs a gene that causes what is calle familial polyposis. Basically it gves you colon cancer. My uncle had it, he is in remission since 1993. He is the only one I know that conquer cancer. My Aunt died in 2007 from colon cancer. My dad died in 1997 from lung cancer. My other uncle died in 1996 from lung cancer. Two good friends died from bile duct cancer and non hodgkin linfoma. I think most cancers are pretty serious. Is tragedy in the family, Is one of the most horrible experiences. A lot of cancers ends in the brain, when it get there the person loses all faculties. Is one of the most shocking and terrible experiences to have a loved one loose it this way. I don’t even wish to my worst enemy.

  6. BTW, this article is an interesting interview with James Watson on cancer research:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703882404575519961343438740.html

    “I want to see cancer cured in my lifetime. It might be. I would define cancer cured as instead of only 100,000 being saved by what we do today, only 100,000 people die. We shift the balance.” Alas, modern research has merely reduced cancer mortality in the United States from about 700,000 per year to about 600,000. “We’ve still got 600,000, which is what the problem is.”

    As you can see, the numbers have barely budged. Its a terrible slaughter. Sure, Chavez will get the best treatment money can buy. He’ll get multiple surgeries, etc, etc. But in all likelyhood he is still screwed.

  7. OW, while you are essentially right (yes, Chavez is most likely screwed in the long term – it’s unlikely he will be cured and his cancer will most likely kill him), you are fundamentally wrong about the state of affairs of cancer treatment.

    Chemo might be a 50-year old technology, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t improved. Specifically for colon cancer, improvements in surgical technique, multi-agent therapy, targeted therapies (drugs that block angiogenesis, for example), and (in trials) immunotherapy have increased the chances of survival dramatically in the last 15 years. Of course, you have to be able to afford it, but Chavez can. The average Venezuelan (or Cuban) will be treated with the same stuff they were doing in 1980, but Chavez is special.

    A death from cancer is still horrible. That has not changed. But, probabilistically, it now takes longer to get to that point.

    I don’t doubt your story of a quick and horrible cancer death. Survival rates for pancreatic cancer haven’t improved much. Late-stage neuroblastoma (a childhood cancer) is almost universally fatal. But that doesn’t mean that things haven’t improved. Leukemia, Hodgkin’s and non-Hodkin’s lymphomas, testicular cancer, osteosarcoma… all have much better chances of survival than they did 20 years ago. And that includes early stage colon cancer, if you have the money to pay for it.

    • You might want to check this out from a big series the NYT did on cancer two years ago:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/health/policy/24cancer.html?ref=fortyyearswar

      A couple key paragraphs:

      “Yet the death rate for cancer, adjusted for the size and age of the population, dropped only 5 percent from 1950 to 2005. In contrast, the death rate for heart disease dropped 64 percent in that time, and for flu and pneumonia, it fell 58 percent.”
      ……..
      “The good news is that many whose cancer has not spread do well, as they have in the past. In some cases, like early breast cancer, drugs introduced in the past decade have made an already good prognosis even better. And a few rare cancers, like chronic myeloid leukemia, can be controlled for years with new drugs. Cancer treatments today tend to be less harsh. Surgery is less disfiguring, chemotherapy less disabling.

      But difficulties arise when cancer spreads, and, often, it has by the time of diagnosis. That is true for the most common cancers as well as rarer ones.

      With breast cancer, for example, only 20 percent with metastatic disease — cancer that has spread outside the breast, like to bones, brain, lungs or liver — live five years or more, barely changed since the war on cancer began.

      With colorectal cancer, only 10 percent with metastatic disease survive five years. That number, too, has hardly changed over the past four decades. The number has long been about 30 percent for metastatic prostate cancer, and in the single digits for lung cancer.”

      In case you think the stats can’t really be that bad – only a 5% improvement since 1950!! – read this article from the same series:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/health/research/24cancerside.html?adxnnl=1&ref=policy&adxnnlx=1310252496-yP9K9OcD1FfudBc+nK2Ndw

      Take a look at cancer mortality rates compared to other diseases and the lack of progress is very apparent:

      http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/04/23/science/0424-cancer-graphic.html

      So if the article that Quico references is correct and he has colon cancer and it was caught because it was symptomatic (which in effect means it was big and spread) he only has a 10% chance of living 5 years. He is rich and will get the best care, so maybe 15% or 20% he’ll be alive in 5 years time. And look at all the rich and famous people that die in the U.S. from cancer – money can’t buy a cure that doesn’t exist. If he is still alive by 2015 the most likely explanation is this is all a lie and he never had cancer at all.

  8. Agreed OW, most kinds of cancer end up killing people at some point. However, I guess Quico’s point is about time frames. Chávez might very well have a few years left and it’s important to understand this while considering possible scenarios.
    I honestly hope he lives long enough to lose an election.

  9. I think it sucks that the Venezuelan president can get the best cancer treatment and my wife’s (and mine) favorite aunt who lived in Ciudad Bolivar in a lower middle class barrio, suffered and died of breast cancer with little or no access to treatment. He f***ing hates the real people of Venezuela. Screw him!

  10. Maybe I should have hedged more: obviously, we would need to know a lot more about Chávez’s specific type and stage of cancer to say anything definitive. More than obviously not all cancer is treatable, and very obviously some types will kill you very quickly even today, and extremely very very much obviously cancer is absolutely ghastly. These things go without saying.

    Still and all, the balance of probability is that Chávez has years to live, not months.

    • “Still and all, the balance of probability is that Chávez has years to live, not months.”

      Agreed 100%, but, and it´s a BIG Jennifer Lopez BUT:

      How will he cope both phisically and mentally during his slow death?
      How will Diosdado, Adán, María Gabriela (real successor no one mentions), JVR, Militares, Elías and Co. handle the cold war during this time…?

      For the first time EVER, we could be witnessing the begining of the end, nobody ever thought of this possibility… Chavez getting sick?? pfffffft… “Hierva mala nunca muere! -Or was that only Fidel from el Clan McCloud?”

  11. Good for him. I don’t want him to die or to suffer horribly. Really. In fact I’d be just as happy if he can have a long life and die at a ripe old age.

    As long as he does Venezuelans a favor he was not prepared to do when he was healthy and full of pride and spite.

    To quit, to leave Venezuelan politics and stays out of them.

    If he does not, for my part I can want him to have a long, hard, no-holds-barred killer of a campaign, and no peace.

  12. By Chavez’ own admission, he should have looked after himself better. Did he ever say that he should have gone for treatment earlier? I can’t recall. Nonetheless, these discussions are moot, until all variables are known. And the variables aren’t clear from this article that merely discusses possible staging scenarios with one gastro-intestinal oncologist, who indicated the spread of metastasis, relevant to his specialty. Prostate cancer can also metastasize and spread, especially to the bones (pelvic abscess anyone?) and the lymph nodes. In sum, there are so many variables that are still unknown,not only about Chavez’s CA, but also about a disease that can have different effects on different folks.
    You could say that the next 1-5 years will be a crap shoot for Chávez. I also think that he would be suicidal to run for office. For by 2012, he will not have achieved the 5-year remission milestone. Anything could happen during that time, and stress would only exacerbate the cancer.

  13. I just hope the opposition gives him a real Presidential campaign battle…No mercy, if he is not able to cope with it, he can stay aside.

  14. Discussing about cancer is an interesting thing. But regarding FT time frame clarification, I agree with the idea that the oppo should not be counting on cancer as an ally. They still have to agree on who the hell is gonna be the candidate, put a good fight to Chavez (who without doubt will throw all possible resources into the campaign, ill or not) and above everything else, organize a credible, possible and successful government.

    Yes, if HC is not around anymore, it looks like leading the country will be easier. But good governance will not organize itself.

  15. You all talk like Chavez is getting treated in the US. The cubans are expediting his death. Chavez does not have anywhere near the best doctors and treatment. He’s fucked and I cant wait.

  16. I think that not beating Chavez when he’s at 100% right when we are at our strongest… I think it will make for a less enduring victory.

  17. Hearing Quico’s opinion in this kind of conversations only makes me wonder if he ever got his hands on his “pelota cuadrada.”

    Now let’s make one thing perfectly clear, if you’re the hero of the movie, and decide to forgive the villain and not kill him AFTER you’ve thoroughly defeated him, AFTER you’ve freed all his hostages, AFTER the villain has lost all power and has no way of getting it back, AFTER good has triumphed and evil has been vanquished, THEN it’s an act of kindness that lifts humanity as a whole.

    Forgiving and wishing well for the villain WHILE HE’S STILL TORTURING YOU, is an act of utter stupidity+weak mindedness+Stockholm Syndrome. There’s no nice way to describe it.

    Chavez still holds all the power. Even though it would be much better for him to temporarily relinquish it, HE WON’T DO IT. He cannot even fathom the very notion of the idea of losing even the slightest bit of power.

    That’s how sick he is. He’s such a sick bastard HIS OWN BODY DECIDED TO KILL HIM. Which makes it the only part of him worthy of praise. In fact, I nominate Chavez’s cancer for the Venezuelan of the Year award. It’ll provably win it by a landslide.

    • Geez, man…with people like you we have Chávez pa’ rato. Then even such a grey individual as Diosdado would have a chance.

      Hatred really consumes you. It’s wasted time. And also: read at least what extorres wrote below.

    • To me the hate is a terrible surplus and has no part in trying to build a better Venezuela.

      But the villain of “the movie” would still get a dispassionate, well placed and necessary rifle bullet to his head from a distance and no chance to do more harm. That’s minimizing overall suffering.

      Speaking about rifle bullets, the proverbial twenty three stabs and would-be kings…

      Hugo Chavez gets a chance to quit, else he gets no respite and a hard campaign pulling no punches, even about his health, which very much matters, and about the lies and secrecy he used in this and other affairs.

      Like the villain, or even more so, it’s his own fault if the campaigning and the stress kill him, or he loses the elections, or both.

  18. Some people are spending too much time discussing about wishing well or ill, as if wishing makes a difference… The real question is whether letting others know your wishes makes a difference; the point is, it does.

    • That’s why my suggestion for Hugo Chavez boils down to…

      QUIT! RETIRE! SAVE YOURSELF AND YOUR COUNTRY!

      And for the opposition they boil down to…

      GIVE HIM NO RESPITE! A HARD CAMPAIGN! THE COUNTRY IS STILL GOING TO HELL! IF HE KILLS HIMSELF IT’S HIS OWN FAULT! THE ALTERNATIVES ARE MUCH WORSE!

  19. That wishing Chávez dead will corrode my soul is naïve, at least. While I could care less about his sorry a*s, and regardless of my soul’s corrosion, I think one has to try and think with some sense: I think the fat man’s death would be catastrophic if it happened before the 2012 elections. Not only his appointed mafioso lieutenants could start a terrible power struggle, but also oppo precandidates, feeling no need to stay united, would disband, and probably crash & burn, in December 2012.
    I think we need to focus on those elections; we need to get there even if we don’t win, because even in that scenario, Chavismo will be very worn out. The President will learn the true meaning of a Pyrrhic victory, and, most of all, will be seen as definitely beatable. Then he can die. It would be delicious.

  20. I was just watching the footage from VTV of the president watching the Venezuela-Ecuador game and when they scored the goal I noticed that no-one including the heir to the throne would hug Hugo. Sure everyone jumped and celebrated but there was a wierd personal space going on, at least 2 meters all around. It was like a free throw playing basquet. I mean if the operation was indeed pelvic, can noone can give him a slap on the back or a high five? Anyway just my two cents knowing all the football games I’ve watched with my most personal aquaintences including workmates and family. (or is there a colostomy bag being held up by that mono?)

  21. Via the NYT, Evo Morales speaks.

    OGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appears to have made it through his most difficult moments and is improving after undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, Bolivian leader Evo Morales said Sunday.
    Morales, a close ally of Chavez who visited him in Caracas last week, remarked on the Venezuelan leader’s health after attending Bolivia’s soccer match against Colombia at the Copa America tournament in Argentina.
    “He’s very well, very well,” Morales told Colombian radio station Caracol. “He has told us it was a very difficult situation for him, but he has survived the bad moment, the worst. As always, under the control of his doctors.”
    Likening the goal of Chavez’s recovery to being like a new car, Morales said: “From here on, soon President Chavez will be at zero kilometers.”

    More at the link.
    Given the government one is dealing with, there will continue to be speculation regarding what is really happening. I would label this as an optimistic report from an acolyte of Chávez. Regarding how truthful it is: I am agnostic. Maybe yes, maybe no.

  22. Keeping the eye on the ball

    While we continue to be distracted by the health status of la verruga the contralor’s position remains vacant. A wonderful opportunity for the opposition to gain a key position, the battle should turn to this front, now!

    • Hmmm is right.
      Given that the current government ordered the exhumation of Bolívar’s remains, and given that Chávez does not want to reveal the type/stage of cancer he has (probably on account of of its “yecch” factor and its known difficulties in controlling it), I think the government is now paving the way for the pueblo acceptance of the inevitable truth about Chávez’ cancer profile.

  23. How is the credibility of Roger Noriega? He says HCh has a 50% probability of 18 months.
    I don’t know, but if he doesn’t has a colon cancer but a prostate one, then chemotherapy is the least option normally. And chemotherapy could be done in Caracas or any other place without problems (normally). Or it is not prostate cancer and it is colon cancer and he lies (at least he says he didn’t have anything in colon/intestine) . Or it is not chemotherapy? Or it is another cancer?

Comments are closed.