MONTEVIDEO – Only 26 percent of Uruguayan women over 50 get annual mammograms in a country of 3.3 million people where 650 women die of breast cancer each year, Deputy Health Minister Cristina Lustemberg said.
“We are very committed to reduce a cause of mortality as important as this particular disease, and also to improve all areas of health care quality,” Lustemberg said during an event in Montevideo to mark the World Day of the Fight Against Breast Cancer.
The official urged women over 40 to go for an annual mammogram and said women 50-69 should have the exam at least every two years.
“These figures present an important challenge for the Public Health Ministry: we need to improve the early detection of this disease,” Lustemberg said.
The ministry aims to reduce cancer mortality rates over the next five years, she said.
On Oct. 1, Alvaro Luongo, chair of Uruguay’s Honorary Commission for the Fight Against Cancer, announced the availability in medical centers across the country of digital equipment to expedite and improve the interpretation of mammogram results
According to the World Health Organization, October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month helps to raise awareness and support for public education, early detection, treatment and palliative care of breast cancer.