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Facing Cancer Is Even Tougher If The Only Radiation Machine Is Broken

 
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markblake
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MessagePosté le: Lun 10 Juil - 07:33 (2017)    Sujet du message: Facing Cancer Is Even Tougher If The Only Radiation Machine Is Broken Répondre en citant

If you happen to be a cancer patient needing radiation in Senegal, getting past the shock of the diagnosis and onto treatment is a major hardship at the moment.

The country's only radiotherapy machine — indeed for a long while the only one in French-speaking West Africa — is broken. That's the machine whose radiation is used to treat primarily breast, head and neck tumors and bone cancer.


Aristide Le Dantec teaching hospital, one of the oldest and largest in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, buzzes with activity. Dozens of mainly female patients are waiting to be seen at a cancer outpatient clinic.

It's in this department that patients would normally receive radiotherapy treatment. But that hasn't been an option in Senegal since late last year.

Dr. Mamadou Diop is charge of the cancer institute at Aristide Le Dantec Hospital. In consultation with his colleagues, Diop made the decision to brand promo video switch off the Cobalt radiotherapy machine in December, after it kept breaking down. He says it had simply become too dangerous — for patients receiving treatment and technicians operating the machine.

As a young intern in his final year of medical school in 1989, Diop saw what he describes as a revolutionary radiotherapy machine then for Senegal being wheeled into the hospital. Today, it's just taking up space.

"This is the waiting room," says oncologist and radiotherapy specialist, Dr. Mamadou Moustapha Dieng, giving NPR a tour of the radiation center. "Patients come here. This is the treatment room. This is the cabin. This is the machine. You see it," he says, pointing to a huge, cream-colored and distinctly 20th-century looking machine.

The Senegalese government has promised four new radiotherapy machines for Senegal — including a replacement for this hospital – will be installed this year.
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MessagePosté le: Lun 10 Juil - 07:33 (2017)    Sujet du message: Publicité

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