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Cancer patient held at airport for missing fingerprint

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Tan Ee Lyn
Reuters
Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Singapore cancer patient was held for four hours by immigration officials in the United States when they could not detect his fingerprints — which had apparently disappeared because of a drug he was taking.

The incident, highlighted in the Annals of Oncology, was reported by the patient’s doctor, Tan Eng Huat, who advised cancer patients taking this drug to carry a doctor’s letter when traveling to the United States.

The drug, capecitabine, is commonly used to treat cancers in the head and neck, breast, stomach and colorectum.

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Cancer patient held at airport for missing fingerprint 335x205 graph128c aj

One side-effect is chronic inflammation of the palms or soles of the feet and the skin can peel, bleed and develop ulcers or blisters — or what is known as hand-foot syndrome.

“This can give rise to eradication of fingerprints with time,” explained Tan, senior consultant in the medical oncology department at Singapore’s National Cancer Center.

Full article here

This article was posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 10:11 am





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