Preventive health care and timely detection as a fundamental factor in fighting breast cancer
19 octubre, 2021
Pro Mujer continues to reinforce the importance of women’s health care through various initiatives to detect breast cancer.
Claudia Márquez is an English teacher at a primary school in Mexico, a mother of a 9-year-old girl, and music lover who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020. Like Claudia, around 2.2 million women were diagnosed with this type of cancer in 2020 and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is the main cause of death in women around the world.
Despite evidence that preventive health care, such as breast self-examination, mammograms, and early diagnosis, can help detect breast cancer early, many women continue to face barriers when it comes to accessing medical care. According to the WHO, the survival rate five years after a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer is around 70% in low- and middle-income countries, compared to 90% in high-income countries.
This is why Pro Mujer is working hard to helping facilitate access to preventive tests, timely detection and treatment and make more women in Latin America aware that preventive health care is important.
For example, in collaboration with Avon in 2020, Pro Mujer launched “Tod@s por Ellas,” a comprehensive breast cancer program that helps reduce women’s barriers to accessing health care, including by addressing ignorance, fear and economic conditions.
Through educational workshops on how to prevent and detect breast cancer early, access to a chatbot, and opportunities to talk with specialists, “Tod@s por Ellas” has provided care to more than 30,000 people thus far. In addition, the initiative provides free mammograms to women, with nearly 2,500 women in Mexico having accessed these tests to date, including women who are in prison.
Through a network of specialized health promoters, the program also provides psycho-emotional counseling to women who obtain results with a positive diagnosis, providing support to them and their families throughout the process.
Recently, Pro Mujer received a second donation from Avon to continue the second phase of this program, which will allow 5,000 more women to receive examinations and treatment if necessary.
Through this program, Claudia was able to receive a free mammogram, biopsy, mastectomy and reconstruction surgery and is currently going through her recovery process.
“I tell all women not to be afraid, to take that first step and to take care of their health for their own good and for the good of their families. I am convinced that a cancer detected early is a cancer that can be cured,” said Claudia.
In addition, the Pro Mujer Health team has created partnerships with the Salud Digna and FUCAM laboratories to continue to increase women’s access to mammograms, as well as improve follow-up care for women who are at risk of breast cancer in Mexico.
In Argentina, Pro Mujer has joined forces with Mamotest, the first femtech company in Latin America, in a partnership that aims to reach more than 3,000 women in Jujuy, a province in northwestern Argentina, to give them access to high-quality mammograms at less than half the cost and with results in less than 24 hours.
Facilitating access to health services for women in Latin America is one of Pro Mujer’s priorities and, along with its financial and entrepreneurial services, is one of the ways that Pro Mujer works to help women improve their living conditions and reach their full potential.
Learn more about our work to provide mammograms to women in a prison in Mexico.