Duterte colonoscopy ‘no reason for alarm’
Malacañang on Monday eased fears again about the health of President Rodrigo Duterte, saying the fact that the chief executive himself had disclosed he had a recent colonoscopy and endoscopy meant there was “no reason for alarm.”
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said there was “nothing extraordinary” in the routine medical examination, in which the President submitted himself to both invasive procedures.
The hectic daily schedule that the President keeps is “proof he has no serious illness,” Roque added.
Colonoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure to check if there are abnormalities in the large intestine or rectum.
It uses a colonoscope, a very small tube with a camera and small light at the end of the device that is inserted into the anus.
‘Bad case of Barrett’
Endoscopy examines a person’s digestive tract and uses an endoscope, which is inserted directly into the organ.
The President said he underwent these medical procedures during a clinical forum in Cebu last week and that his doctor told him he had a “bad case of Barrett.”
The President was referring to Barrett’s esophagus, a serious complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
In Barrett’s esophagus, according to webmd.com, “normal tissue lining the esophagus — the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach — changes to tissue that resembles the lining of the intestine.”
The President admits to be suffering from the disease, as well as from Buerger’s disease, a rare condition involving the constriction of blood vessels in the arms and legs, thus blocking blood flow.
In a press briefing, Roque said the President undertook the “routine” tests to see if there was something new or any changes in his condition.
“If [his condition] is serious, he will not admit it,” he said of the President.
Asked to explain this statement, Roque said the tests were so routine that the Preisdent “had no qualms about telling everyone, the whole world, that he had [them].”
“And so I think it’s human nature for him [to say] that it’s no big deal, so it was no big deal to disclose it,” he said. “All medical conditions are otherwise confidential. The fact that he’s willing to share it means it’s no reason for alarm.”
Roque said the President would disclose it if he had any serious condition in compliance with the Constitution.
‘No serious illness’
“But there is no serious illness that has to be disclosed,” he said, adding that the President had always been transparent.
Roque also reminded reporters that the President had always mentioned his desire to leave the presidency.
“[The President] will not cling on if he’s dying or very gravely ill,” he said.
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