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PATH staff members are presenting our work on cervical and breast cancer this week at the XX FIGO World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Rome. The conference, hosted by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), brings together scientific experts working across the spectrum of women’s health issues. PATH has worked to improve women’s health in developing countries for nearly 40 years, and we are continuing to provide women with affordable and accessible options for preventing and treating cancer.

We are showcasing several innovative projects for protecting women from cancer, including the following:

Preventing breast cancer in Peru. PATH and our partners are implementing a unique model for breast cancer prevention based on empowering communities through education, training low-level providers in clinical breast examination, and training district providers to perform fine-needle biopsy if needed and refer women for treatment. This project works across Peru’s health system to enhance coordinated responses to new cases and reach more women with crucial early diagnosis and treatment.

Testing for cervical cancer. PATH and Qiagen co-developed a new molecular test called careHPV to effectively screen women for cervical cancer even in places where health resources are scarce. The test detects human papillomavirus, the cause of cervical cancer. Demonstration projects in Nicaragua, India, and Uganda showed that the test is highly effective for detecting cancer and pre-cancer and can even be conducted using a vaginal sample self-collected by women without a pelvic evaluation.

Enhancing training for prevention and treatment. In Latin America, PATH collaborated with Jhpiego and the Peruvian Cancer Institute to establish Training Excellence Centers for creating capacity in countries to expand the use of new approaches for cervical cancer prevention. Programs in Peru, Colombia, and Nicaragua have shown that governments from these countries are using their newly trained cadre of master trainers to expand providers’ capacity to perform visual inspection with acetic acid and cryotherapy. 

The FIGO conference continues through October 12.

More information

Posted October 11, 2012.