Background and Context: Women in rural areas of Honduras have limited access to cancer education, screening, and care. We collaborated with village leaders to pilot a breast and cervical cancer screening initiative in El Rosario, Honduras. Our objectives were to improve community awareness and access to cancer screening, to strengthen connections between the community and Honduran providers to ensure continuity of care, and to link patients with abnormal findings to cancer treatment. Cervical Cancer represents 42% of all cancer cases in Honduras, breast cancer is rapidly arising as 2nd. most common cancer among women.
Aim:Our objectives were to improve community awareness and access to cancer screening, to strengthen connections between the community and Honduran providers to ensure continuity of care, and to link patients with abnormal findings to cancer treatment.
Strategy/Tactics: Collaboration between a Major Cancer Center with advanced technology to strengthen a local cancer institution activities towards Cervical and Breast cancer education, screening and diagnosis.
Programme/Policy Process: A team of health professionals and staff from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center joined Honduran clinicians and medical students from La Liga Contra el Cáncer to conduct two days of cancer screening. Providers offered free clinical breast exams, Papanicolaou (Pap) tests, onsite colposcopy and biopsy, and primary care consults in addition to training medical students
Outcomes/What was learned:472 women screened,4.6% had visible cervical lesions, several HPV high risk strains identified. 238 breast examination performed, 1 advanced carcinoma detected, 2 patient with suspicious breast lesions referred. Women from rural areas are receptive to education and screening, collaboration between institutions can upgrade cancer care providing technology to practice. Medical Students are a valuable tool for cancer organizations as human resource for education and screening and the experience increases their participation in cancer prevention. More research and insight is mandatory to tailor screening policies in our communities.