Although during October different activities against breast cancer are carried out, they should actually continue throughout the year. One of the most important aspects is to identify the disease as early as possible to start immediately with the most appropriate treatment for each patient. This is a problem that is exacerbated in rural areas due to the lack of conditions to carry out care. For this reason, the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) Bienestar presented its new strategy.

What does it consist of?

In order to reverse the situation in areas far from large cities, it has been proposed to reinforce training for women in exploration, self-examination and identification of risk factors in pathologies that affect the breast.

Dr. Edgar Alfonso Herrerías Alfaro, head of the Reproductive Health Department of IMSS BIENESTAR, explained that with the Gynecological Health Care Model, specialized personnel provide services to women 25 years of age and older on an annual basis. Probable cases are referred in a timely manner for diagnostic confirmation and management as appropriate.

The specialist in gynecology and obstetrics highlighted that prevention actions in rural areas they also target those with risk factors for breast cancer, such as women with first-line relatives (mother, sisters, daughters) with a history of the disease.

Likewise, breast self-examination is encouraged between the seventh and tenth day after the start of menstruation and a clinical review by health personnel, at least once a year.

Promote reliable information

He highlighted that through posters, wall newspapers, triptychs and peripherals, among others, health personnel, community action personnel and volunteers promote in consultations, waiting rooms and home visits, that women go to medical units to receive information about breast cancer and perform clinical breast examination.

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In rural areas, he said, low sugar and fat consumption, a balanced diet high in fiber, physical activity for 30 minutes a day, as well as avoiding cigarettes and alcohol are encouraged.

Dr. Herrerías Alfaro stressed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, care for women in rural medical units has been maintained, with the application of health measures for the prevention of coronavirus, both to carry out the annual clinical examination of the breasts , as to review women who manifest any abnormal data.

He said that in the medical units of the IMSS BIENESTAR Program, 1.5 million clinical breast examinations are performed on 25-year-old women, an annual average, with the aim of early identification of probable alterations in these glands.