Rare disease in small Brazilian town
ARARAS (BDCi) – A town located in the mountains of western São Paulo is said to have the highest number of people suffering from the rare hereditary illness known as “XP,” xeroderma pigmentosum.
Those who suffer from the condition are sensitive to high levels of UV sunlight and become very vulnerable to skin cancer.
In Araras, a community of 800 people, more than 20 suffer from XP, or one in every 40 people, a higher number than other countries like the U.S., where one in a million has the disease.
Djalma Antonio Jardim, 38, has the condition and has undergone over 50 operations to remove cancerous tumors.
As a means of concealing the deterioration of his lips, nose, cheeks and eyes caused by the disease, Jardim wears a simple orange face-mask.
In addition to causing skin cancer and other cutaneous problems, one in every five patients can fall victim to deafness, muscle spasms, bad coordination and developmental problems, according to the National Cancer Institute.
By: Diego Díaz
9 May 2014
8:00 a.m. P.D.T.