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.
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.
“He was detained at the airport customs for four hours because the immigration officers could not detect his fingerprints. He was allowed to enter after the custom officers were satisfied that he was not a security threat.”
We may have changed out the White House and a small piece of Congress for people with brains, education and integrity – but, Homeland Insecurity hasn’t changed a jot.
One thought on “Cancer patient held at airport because of missing fingerprints”
Interesting post. Like me, I feel that maybe the officials at this airport were unaware of the fact capecitabine has these effects, still it does not excuse the fact that this gentleman was unfairly deatined. Another example of cruel injustice.
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