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With Breast Cancer, Detection is the Solution



Since 2006, breast cancer has been the primary cause of death in women in México

By Jesús Aguado

Cancer, of all types, is the main cause of death around the world. The World Health Organization estimates that in 2015 alone cancer killed 8.8 million people worldwide. It can often be easily detected, and in San Miguel de Allende, the medical clinic CAISES, located on calle Arcoiris in the La Lejona neighborhood, has the equipment, personnel, and infrastructure to detect and, in many cases, cure it.

One of the most common types of cancers in Mexico is breast cancer, being the first cause of death between Mexican women.

During the year, the State Health Secretary’s office maintains constant campaigns for the detection and treatment of breast cancer and uterine-cervical cancer. These campaigns conclude in October, the month during which the office emphasizes early detection and a timely diagnosis, which is what leads to a cure.

In October the focus is in breast cancer

Dr Hector Adrian Barrientos, director of CAISES, told us he wanted to share with Atención readers that breast and uterine-cervical cancers are curable, but early detection is paramount. That is why during the month of October they work vigorously, along with the Instituto Mexicano de Seguro Social (Mexican Institute for Social Services) and the Instituto de Servicios de Salud Trabajadores del Estado (The Institute for Health Services of State Employees), to detect breast cancer early.

“We have in San Miguel [from the Secretary of Health] 17 permanent [health care centers] and five mobile units. These go to communities that are farthest from the city.”

When a case is detected, the person is transferred to the General Hospital Felipe Dobarganes in the Igancio Ramírez neighborhood and then, if needed, to the General Hospital of Celaya, which has a clinic specializing in women’s cancers. “We want women to commit to their health. [We want] that all women between 25 and 65 years of age undergo screening,” said Barrientos. “It’s a simple technique, quick and done by specialists.”

Barrientos added that the patient can always bring along a companion. Results are given within 30 days. He invited the residents of San Miguel (foreigners and locals) to visit CAISES anytime Monday–Friday, 7:30am–8pm, at no cost for screening. (The clinic can be reached at 415 152-6210, extension 40007.

Cancer figures

In 2016, breast cancer accounted for 16 out of 100,000 deaths in women aged 20 and above in México The Secretary of Health states that in 2016, in México, there were 301,000 cancer deaths in women; breast and cervical cancer accounted for 25.4 percent of them. In 2017 there were 5,726 cases, and the average age of the women with cancer was 54. Women aged 50-59 had the highest percentage of cases.


The term cancer encompasses more than 100 different types of illness. But they all share as a common principal characteristic the rapid and disordered growth of abnormal cells. In the majority of cases, it is a chronic degenerative illness, meaning that its incidence and mortality rates tend to increase with age. Some types of cancer are more common in women than in men and vice versa. Some are completely exclusive to a particular gender, such as malignancies that develop in the reproductive organs.



Although most risk factors for breast cancer cannot be changed, the State Secretary of Health states that the risk of developing it can be diminished through lifestyle changes. According to the state State Secretary of Health’s website, it is important to stress self-responsibility in the care of health, and to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

The Secretary recommends self-care, defining it as “taking charge of the care, interests, and protection of one’s health, both physically and emotionally.” Certain actions are advised, including:

After the age of 20, do a monthly breast self-examination.

If you are 25 or older, visit your health care center for a clinical breast exam.

If you are 40–69 years old, ask your health center to do a mammogram.

Maintain your ideal weight and diminish the consumption of animal-based fats.

Increase your consumption of fibers such as whole-grain cereals, fruits, and vegetables.

Exercise for 30 to 60 minutes per day.

Diminish your alcohol intake.

Do not smoke.

Breastfeeding may prevent you from developing breast cancer later in life.


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