Outlook for Chávez Darkens, Doctors Say in WSJ
The era of Hugo Chavez is ending.
Despite the secrecy surrounding the politician’s condition, however, intelligence analysts in the hemisphere and doctors who specialize in cancer say they can piece together a rough prognosis based on publicly available information—even though they have no direct knowledge of the case.
His latest operation suggest the president’s odds of survival are worsening, doctors say. The fact that his cancer has returned twice after undergoing four surgeries and treatment like radiation therapy and chemotherapy that Mr. Chávez has said he had indicates the cancer is aggressive and unlikely to be cured, the doctors say.
Mr. Chávez faces a potentially dangerous recovery from his latest surgery, said Thierry Jahan, an oncologist at the University of California, San Francisco. Excessive use of anti-inflammatory steroids during his treatments during Mr. Chávez’s illness could cause muscles to waste away, and, after an operation, increase the chances of infections leading to sepsis, a potentially deadly infection, blood clots, gastrointestinal bleeding and an increased risk of rising sugar levels leading to diabetes, Dr. Jahan said.