|
|
|
|
Search: 
Latin American Herald Tribune
Venezuela Overview
Venezuelan Embassies & Consulates Around The World
Sites/Blogs about Venezuela
Venezuelan Newspapers
Facts about Venezuela
Venezuela Tourism
Embassies in Caracas

Colombia Overview
Colombian Embassies & Consulates Around the World
Government Links
Embassies in Bogota
Media
Sites/Blogs about Colombia
Educational Institutions

Stocks

Commodities
Crude Oil
US Gasoline Prices
Natural Gas
Gold
Silver
Copper

Euro
UK Pound
Australia Dollar
Canada Dollar
Brazil Real
Mexico Peso
India Rupee

Antigua & Barbuda
Aruba
Barbados
Cayman Islands
Cuba
Curacao
Dominica

Grenada
Haiti
Jamaica
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Belize
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Honduras
Nicaragua
Panama

Bahamas
Bermuda
Mexico

Argentina
Brazil
Chile
Guyana
Paraguay
Peru
Uruguay

What's New at LAHT?
Follow Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Most Viewed on the Web
Popular on Twitter
Receive Our Daily Headlines


  HOME | Science, Nature & Technology

Hands of the Blind in the Americas Detect Breast Cancer, Save Lives

BOGOTA – When Leidy completely lost her sight six years ago, she began to discover the power of her hands. Now she uses them to serve other women in a project that uses blind people’s acute sense of touch to detect breast cancer.

“Being an assistant tactile examiner (AET) is a different world, a challenge, where disability is an opportunity,” Leidy Garcia told EFE. She is one of the Colombian women working in the Hands that Save Lives project, the first of its kind in the Americas for the detection of breast cancer, the most common type in the region among women.

The project, promoted by the CAF-Development Bank of Latin America, is inspired by the German program Discovering Hands of Dr. Frank Hoffman, who found that the blind are better than anyone at performing tactile exams for breast cancer.

“Besides this disability, I can recognize the tissues and the different pathologies – I feel and identify them,” said Francia Papamija, totally blind from bilateral retinal detachment and who previously worked in a factory.

“They have a better developed sense of feeling, because of the phenomenon of neuroplasticity, and that talent permits them to find 28 percent more masses in glandular tissue, which are up to 50 percent smaller than medical personnel can find,” Stefan Wilhelm, coordinator of the project in the southwestern Colombian city of Cali for CAF and Discovering Hands.

The work is meticulous, he said, because the tactile assistants take between 30-45 minutes “compared to the two or three minutes that doctors take.”

In the session they use adhesive strips written in Braille that they stick vertically around the breast, forming “coordinates” to determine the location of abnormalities or bulges and in that way warn the doctor. “It’s like studying a map,” said Leidy, who has learned that “not all nodules are bad.”

Hands that Save Lives is now being applied in Argentina and in Mexico, where it is associated with the Veracruz Cancer Treatment Center and the state Health Secretariat, and “there is also interest in Spain,” said Ana Mercedes Botero, director of CAF Social Innovation.

According to the Pan American Health Organization, breast cancer causes the death of 92,000 women a year in the region, and if the current trend continues, the death toll will rise to 142,000 by 2030.

 

Enter your email address to subscribe to free headlines (and great cartoons so every email has a happy ending!) from the Latin American Herald Tribune:

 

Copyright Latin American Herald Tribune - 2005-2015 © All rights reserved