The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Gastric cancer, a disease that affects about 34 people per 100,000 inhabitants, has been cured in 66 percent of patients diagnosed in the country thanks to early intervention.

This data was provided through the Center for Gastric Cancer Screening at the Max Peralta Hospital of Cartago.

Each year, the center serves about 100 people, of which 66 have get a second chance on life after surgery.

The Center for Gastric Cancer Detection was founded in 1996. In almost 19 years of existence, it has conducted studies on 75,400 potential cancer cases, of which 2,100 were positive.

The director of the entity, Horacio Solano, said that their success in curing patients comes from two factors: early detection of the disease and intense, quick treatment provided in the Max Peralta Hospital; this care program has no waiting list so diagnosed patients are treated within a period of six weeks. “Once the patient is diagnosed, treatment depends on tumor size and the level of progress,” he added.

Solano said many patients do not realize they have the disease because they confuse symptoms with other diseases such as gastritis, so it is important to get checkups and exams.

Solano said they have two gastric cancer surgeries per week in the operating room of Max Peralta. “We would like to expand coverage, but we are limited by the number of operating rooms of the hospital and also by the ability of beds for patients,” he said.

Cartago is the area most affected by this disease, where the rate is 41 per 100,000 inhabitants. The Brunca area is the second most affected, with a rate of 39 per 100,000 inhabitants. The disease also affects men more than women.

Each year, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund invests between ¢400 and ¢500 million in this program. (Amelia Rueda)

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica