Innovative Strategies for Cervical and Breast Cancer Control: a regional meeting to share experiences and lessons learned
National health authorities and key opinion leaders from nine countries in Latin America [Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru] gathered together to discuss their experiences and needs to scale up access to cervical cancer and breast cancer prevention and early detection strategies, using new technologies and approaches.
The regional meeting, co-hosted by PAHO, PATH, the Ministry of Health and the National Cancer Institute of Peru (INEN), led to the identification of opportunities and models of care to apply primary health care approaches, including HPV DNA testing and visual inspection screening (VIA) for cervical cancer prevention; and clinical breast exams and fine needle aspiration for breast cancer early detection.
During the regional meeting, participants reviewed the experiences from several countries to implement VIA and cryotherapy services in limited resource settings; the experiences of the Centre of Excellence for Training on VIA and cryotherapy at INEN; the use of a new HPV DNA test in El Salvador; and a novel community based approach for breast cancer early detection in Peru. During working groups, participants discussed more in depth about their common challenges to increase screening coverage and treatment, as well as ideas to overcome these challenges.