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80-year-old Dubai tourist gets cancerous tumour removed Filed on September 9, 2020 | Last updated on September 9, 2020 at 06.36 am
health, healthcare, dubai, uae, rashid hospital, colon cancer, tumor, laparoscopic surgery

(Supplied photo)

The Portuguese woman was on a holiday with her family when she was diagnosed with cancer.

Maria Madalena, an 80-year-old Portuguese tourist who has been visiting Dubai yearly for the last 20 years, did not expect to get diagnosed with cancer while on holiday in the emirate.

"I did feel unwell before I travelled to Dubai but I did not want to cancel our holiday. In fact, I told God that I want to be cured in Dubai. However, I had no idea that I had a cancerous tumour in my body," Madalena said. 

Madalena and her family were confident about seeking treatment in the emirate because they had already experienced the high quality of healthcare the city provides. Three years ago, her husband underwent a successful heart surgery at Rashid Hospital after suffering a heart attack during their annual Dubai vacation.  

Her 82-year-old husband, Rider Lobo, said: "I was shopping at Mall of the Emirates when I felt pain and discomfort in my chest. I visited a medical facility and I was told to urgently go to the hospital. An ambulance arrived and immediately took me to the hospital. When I went back to Lisbon, I visited a famous cardiologist there, I was informed that the procedure was done brilliantly and that it probably would not have been possible to get the same level of care in Lisbon itself."

This time, he said, his wife was feeling a little unwell before their trip but they still decided to push through with it. "We did not think of canceling the holiday as we were confident that if she needed medical attention, we would receive high-quality treatment in Dubai."

Cancerous tumour detected

A day after they arrived in the emirate, the couple went straight to Rashid Hospital. 

Dr Omar Al Marzouqi, a general surgeon consultant who specialises in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at the hospital, said: "The patient was fully evaluated and we performed several tests including a colonoscopy, CT scan and blood tests. Additionally, she was seen by all relevant specialties to ensure we provide the highest quality of multidisciplinary care."

Tests revealed a cancerous tumour in the mid-rectum of the patient, the doctor said. 

"All cancerous tumour cases are discussed by a multidisciplinary team of highly specialised doctors in the Tumour Board. These standards are in place, keeping international guidelines and hospital guidelines in mind to provide the highest quality of patient-centred care.

"Keeping the age of the patient in mind and her condition, we decided it was best to avoid open surgery and we opted to remove the tumour laparoscopically instead."

In the last four years, the hospital has performed over 100 laparoscopic procedures for colorectal cancer, Dr Al Marzouqi said. Among the benefits of such a minimally invasive surgery are better patient outcomes, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery. 

Madalena was discharged just three days after the procedure, the doctor added. "We feel humbled and proud that, today, Rashid Hospital has become a preferred hospital for treatment not only for citizens and residents of Dubai but also for international medical tourists."

Madalena said: "I have no words left to thank the hospital staff. We are very grateful to Dubai because God has chosen Dubai to solve our medical issues. I will visit Dubai again."


Staff Reporter

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