U.S. Immigration procedures causing trouble for cancer survivors

Image by Getty Images via Daylife


If travelling to countries where fingerprint identification is required, particularly the States, and you are on CAPECITABINE (Xeloda), take a letter with you from your Oncologist confirming this.

Similarly,the same if you have a prosthesis (see below).

Roche the makers of Xeloda, say Hand-foot syndrome (HFS) is a known side-effect of a number of cancer treatments, including Xeloda (capecitabine).  It can cause redness, tenderness, and possibly peeling of the palms and soles.

Recently a traveller to the US was held at Immigration for some time, as his fingerprints could not be identified, due to his treatment.  The US Immigration have caused numerous problems to legitimate travellers in the past – so carry a letter with you to show to officials.

Roche says “HFS is manageable, and can be minimised with good patient management”.  Further details on the label, or  contact Roche.


America’s Transportation Security Administration is not noted for customer care, and recently must have issued an order to its stony-faced staff at airports.  All of a sudden, the US press is full of stories about cancer patients being made to remove breast prosthesis at security checks.  See  http://healthspanews.com/us-immigration-has-only-itself-to-blame-for-adverse-stories/

When I politely check with their press office to see if these stories are true, back comes the usual ‘customer friendly’ response – ‘you can check regulations on TSA website’.

Has no-one told them if you get the public on your side, they are likely to identify terrorists that you might overlook.  I know this is true – one Customs official used to joke every time I went past him  One day I stopped for a chat and mentioned, “hope you don’t think I am stupid, but I saw that man doing something fishy”.  And yes, it was a very nasty character;   shivers run down my spine when I think I would have been too worried about wasting their time,  if I had been checked by a charmless official that day.

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