This is Why Americans Are Going to Cuba for Cancer Care

This is Why Americans Are Going to Cuba for Cancer Care

Cuba has more than to offer than cigars, palm trees, rum, and great music.

When people think of traveling the world in search of top-rated medical care, the United States comes to mind as a prime destination.

Some of the world’s best doctors and scientists are practicing here, and the chances of getting the care you need, are high.

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So why are some Americans turning to Cuba for cancer care? It has to do with Cubans’ amazing abilities to find solutions.

The Embargo

Cuban medicine has developed Cimavax, an effective treatment for lung cancer.

It’s still illegal for Americans to travel to Cuba, due to the economic embargo imposed on the country by the U.S in the 1960s. Well, technically it isn’t illegal as that would be against the constitution, but it is against the law for American citizens to spend money in Cuba, making it next to impossible for citizens to travel there.

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And Cuba, as many know, isn’t known for it’s flashy luxuries. Because of the embargo, Cubans have had to make do with what they have, or do without, for generations. That applies to everything from cosmetics to diapers and truck tires… even medications.

But while difficult, this forced reality has actually made for some amazing discoveries.

New Drugs

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Cuban scientists have had to pulled the country up by its bootstraps and produce almost all the people need, in terms of healthcare. And they’ve done a fantastic job.

Cuba has a life expectancy that’s actually 1 year longer than that found in the U.S: 80 years. It’s also, strangely enough, a top-performer in medical development. Out of necessity, Cuban research and development is tightly entwined with healthcare and the result is the development of drugs that can change lives.

Cimavax, a lung cancer drug, is one of these. It’s apparently quite effective and the reason sick foreigners are flocking to Cuba’s shores.

Hope

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The drug was developed by Cuban researchers at the Centro de Immunologia Molecular, the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM), in Havana, and it works by stimulating a patient’s immune system to react to a protein in the blood that’s known to trigger the growth of lung cancer.

It doesn’t ‘cure’ a patient, but allows them to live with the disease, and sometimes for a very long time.

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Which is a reality that offers hope to terminally ill patients like Judy Ingel. She told her story to BBC.com, and revealed how breaking the law doesn’t have her worried, when it comes to saving her life

The Future

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Cimavax is currently being tested on American patients in Buffalo, New York and could hopefully be available for sale in the U.S at some point in the future.

Related: Born in 1990 or Later? You’re 4 Times as Likely to Develop Colorectal Cancer

Looking for health care options outside North America? Click here to find out about extremely low cost dental care in Mexico, affordable major procedures in Thailand, bypass surgery for under $10,000 in India, world-renowned cancer treatment in Singapore and more.

(photo credits: www.pixabay.com)

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