Posts tagged #Awareness

Working against the statistics at Project Alajuelita

While breast cancer mortality rates are on the decline in most Latin American countries, Costa Rica has seen a steady increase in the past year according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). FIMRC provides not only clinical care at its site in Costa Rica, but also has a strong preventative focus through health education efforts. Last week, the clinic at Project Alajuelita worked in collaboration with the Breast Cancer Foundation of Costa Rica to spread awareness about the disease, encourage self-testing, and offer mammograms.

During clinic hours in the morning, mammograms were offered in addition to normal services. Women who come to the clinic, whether for themselves or their children, were encouraged to sign up for a mammogram.

On Monday afternoon, a representative from the Breast Cancer Foundation came to the clinic to give a presentation about breast cancer, specifically to encourage self-testing. About a dozen women from the community, along with the FIMRC staff and volunteers, were present. While a few volunteers entertained the children outside, the representative spoke on a number of topics related to breast cancer. She first gave a basic overview about what breast cancer is. She then dispelled a number of common myths about breast cancer, and addressed cultural taboos regarding self-testing and gave out handouts to demonstrate how to carry out a self-test.

Thank you to FIMRC Volunteers from UC Berkeley, Harvard University, and Brown University for playing a key role in the success of the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and to FIMRC Staff for coordinating such an amazing event!

**Update 1/28/2014 - In the week following FIMRC's breast cancer awareness campaign, women with irregular exam results were able to receive mammograms and ultrasounds from a partner organization in Costa Rica - Fundacion Nacional de Solidaridad Contra el Cancer de Mamas. As an organization that believes in providing sustainable health care instead of one-time campaigns, we are thrilled that the women in Alajuelita receiving the follow up care they need and deserve.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Quick Facts About Breast CancerOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

•One in eight women or 12.6% of all women will get breast cancer in her lifetime.

breast cancer
breast cancer

•Breast cancer risk increases with age and every woman is at risk.

•Every 13 minutes a woman dies of breast cancer.

•Seventy‐seven percent of women with breast cancer are over 50.

•Seventy‐one percent of black women diagnosed with breast cancer experience a five‐year survivalrate, while eighty‐six percent of white women experience five‐year survival.

•The first sign of breast cancer usually shows up on a woman's mammogram before it can be felt or any other symptoms are present.

•Risks for breast cancer include a family history, atypical hyperplasia, delaying pregnancy until after age 30 or never becoming pregnant, early menstruation (before age 12), late menopause (after age 55), current use or use in the last ten years of oral contraceptives, and daily consumption of alcohol.

•Early detection of breast cancer, through monthly breast self‐exam and particularly yearly mammography after age 40, offers the best chance for survival.

•Ninety‐six percent of women who find and treat breast cancer early will be cancer‐free after five years.

•You are never too young to develop breast cancer! Breast Self‐Exams should begin by the age of twenty.

(All information taken from American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute and The Susan G. Komen Foundation)

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