Venezuelan doctor Jose Rafael Marquina, who is based in the US and is known for his accurate prognoses on President Hugo Chavez’s health, told a local Florida radio that the Venezuelan leader Chavez has “between two and three months to live”.
“The disease has entered an aggressive stage. He has metastases in the lumbar area, compressing nerves around the lumbar area of his backbone, which may lead to paralysis,” said Marquina, who claims to have access to first-hand sources and information about the president’s health.
“I feel I must say the truth. It was anticipated that Chavez condition would rapidly deteriorate in December. It is very sad news”, added Marquina.
The scientist revealed that during the electoral campaign Chavez was already in a very delicate condition but supported the pain with drugs stronger than morphine. He added that he repeatedly suggested to Chavez to travel to the US since in Cuba ‘they have no experience in these cases”.
Peruvian oncologist and long established in the US, Elmer Huerta coincided with the diagnosis of his peer Marquina saying the cancer was in a ‘terminal phase’ and surgery was only ‘palliative’. He added that as the disease advances the patient could suffer dementia in the coming weeks.
“The fact he is on mechanical respiration and with a sceptic shock gives an idea of how serious the patient’s situation is”, added Huerta.
Currently he is being treated with several antibiotics “but we must wait 72 hours to see if the patient reacts to treatment. This same infectious process leads to a sceptic shock with a 60% mortality rate”, indicated Dr. Marquina.
Chavez announced on national television late Saturday that he was flying to Cuba for new cancer surgery, and named Vice-President and Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro as his possible successor.
Chavez, 58, who has ruled Venezuela for 14 years, underwent three operations for cancer and four courses of chemotherapy in Cuba and Venezuela within a year.
He said that recent tests had revealed malignant cells. Chavez, who was re-elected for another six-year presidential term in October, said the pain he felt were due to strain during the election campaign and radiation therapy treatment, adding that surgery was vital, and an illness like this always carried risk.
Meanwhile in Venezuela there are hopes Chavez can return for his third mandate January 10 taking office ceremony in Caracas and then return immediately to Cuba, which would ensure Nicolas Maduro as his successor and thus avoid calling new elections.