What do you say?

This young woman came to Diospi Suyana Hospital with a history of this tumor growing on her neck for some time.  (Time is not important in our Quechua culture, and “some time” is often as specific as it gets.  I will ask “How long have you had this pain?” and the response is always “For some time.”  The people have a sense of time in the circle of weeks, but as one week is just like any other when you are not using a calendar, it is easy to lose track of how much time has passed.  It can be hard to sort it out.)  She had not been able to get to treatment, and they had no real idea what was the problem.  It looks like a lymphoma of some sort to me, and her only option is to head to Lima, the capital of Peru.  That is where nearly all the cancer treatment occurs in Peru, located in one hospital.  I hope she went.  There was nothing we could do.  Who knows?  Maybe someday oncology services will be available at our little hospital here in the Andes.

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Curable cancer. No access to care.

A post shared by Will Caire (@willcaire) on

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