Monday, September 8, 2014

Cervical Cancer Screening

Tomorrow we begin our first mobile cervical cancer screening event. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women in Guatemala and the cancer hospital here is overwhelmed with advanced cases--and those are just the patients that can afford cancer care.  Just in the last 3 months we have had two patients pass away from cervical cancer--younger than 55 years old.

 Dr. Sara Castellanos and I and our two female health promoters, Maury and Cesy will head out to Mactzul II where we will be hosted by the church for the event, while Sheri covers our regularly-scheduled clinic.  We've invited all the women from the town to come for their VIAA (Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid)--the new screening technique that allows us to tell the patient immediately if there is cancer or pre-cancerous lesions or not.
This is a perfect example of appropriate technology, as we eliminate the need for costly lab, prolonged wait for results, and it reduces the number of patients lost to followup.  We were also generously given a cryotherapy gun for treating pre-cancerous lesions.

So we are thankful to God and to our supporters for helping us offer these services that help protect moms and families and hopefully avoid this all too common cancer.

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