There is a cancer center across the street from the hospital. The doctor who spearheaded the project is in town and gave me and one of the residents a tour. My specialty has not played a part in this whole trip so I was so interested to go see this facility. It sounds like Dr. Degenarro (from Miami) has been spending most of the last 3 years starting this treatment center and getting clinical trials started in Haiti. There aren't as many rules to follow in Haiti as in the US. Weird.
This cancer treatment center focuses on breast and OBGYN cancers but sees and treats whatever walks through the door. When Dr. Degenarro gave us the tour, he jabbered on in French to several patients. We met a woman with breast cancer who needed fluid drained from her lungs. He wanted the resident with me to do it. She was getting a Cisplatin infusion through a peripheral IV. Then we met an older man with lymphoma who had been getting the CHOP regime and now has cardiac problems. As we walked into another part of the building, patients stopped him to ask questions and show him paperwork and he willingly stopped and spent several minutes jabbering on with them. One of the women looked 10 months pregnant but since she was a bit older, I'm guessing she had ascites (fluid on the belly).
Dr. Degenarro works with an OBGYN oncologist who is Haitian. He explained that mammograms usually show that there is indeed a mass and the next step is to ultrasound and biopsy it. Since they do not have mammography, they skip straight to ultrasound and even showed us the biopsy needle...there is one and they just sterilize it. This Haitian doc does the ultrasounds in this room in the picture above.
Oncology infusion is my normal daytime job so it's fascinating to see how one does it in another country! I know my infusion nurse friends will appreciate this!
Today was my last work day in Haiti! I know more stories and experiences will eek themselves out of me in time. Thanks for tuning in!