Costa Rica Launches Extensive Study on the Early Detection and Treatment of Cervical Cancer

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – In March, Costa Rica will launch a study that aims to improve the early detection and treatment of malignant cervix tumors.

    The Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), a body that regulates medical centers in the country, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) are behind the study called ESTAMPA, which will be conducted in the province of Puntarenas (Central Pacific) and address 5,000 women.

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    “We are looking to define the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is associated with cervical cancer. We seek to improve detection and early treatment of patients,” said the president of the CCSS, Maria del Rocio Saenz at a press conference.

    According to the official, the results that they obtain, which they believe will happen in a two year time frame, will be vital to modify health strategies in addressing this malignancy.

    The study will evaluate the methods, cytology and different molecular techniques to be used in the selection and classification of women over age 30, who test positive for HPV. Those positively identified will receive followed up care and will continue to follow a protocol that ranges from 18 to 24 months.

    “First there will be a pilot with 500 women and then the other 4,500 will be recruited. All participants will be from the towns of San Rafael and Barranca (Puntarenas). That area was chosen because coastal regions are the most affected by cervical cancer,” said the study coordinator, Alejandro Calderón.

    Data from the National Tumor Registry and the National Institute of Statistics and Census indicate that in 2013 the mortality rate from cervical cancer was 5 per 100,000 women.

    However, from 2010 to 2013 the mortality rate from this disease has decreased by 36%,

    As reported by the CCSS, cervical cancer is a disease that is preventable and curable, therefore it must be detected early.

    In the ESTAMPA study, which will involve an investment of $250,000 for Costa Rica, will also include other Latin American countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. (ACAN-EFE)

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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