Women of Nogales promote early detection of breast cancer

July 21, 2023

The George Papanicolaou group of Nogales, Sonora, performs low-cost pap smears and breast examinations to detect cancer early.

women of nogales

Nogales, Sonora.— The University of Arizona and the Mariposa Clinic (Mariposa Community Health Center) in Nogales Arizona, are carrying out the research project "Vida Plena" in which women survivors of breast cancer who live in Nogales Sonora participate.

As explained by Rosi Vogel, program coordinator for the University of Arizona College of Public Health, six cancer survivors describe their daily lives through photographs around three themes: food or nutrition, activities and social support.

“Hearing from our community the challenges that women still have in accessing resources is teaching us what strengths they have and what challenges that they face every day as cancer survivors,” said Vogel, from the UA. In the midst of the complexities of coping with this disease, the coordinator highlighted how important it is to learn from the positivism that these women have. Tatiana Enríquez, who is part of the research team and works for the Mariposa Clinic, said that promoting prevention is a vital component in this and other similar projects. Enríquez said that in the exhibition of photographs called Fotonovela, "women tell it all without any filter, they show their scars, they show what the whole experience of cancer really is, from battling with family, mental health and treatments" . 

For Luz del Carmen Ramírez Loaiza, one of the cancer survivors, what has happened in her life has been more difficult for her family to assimilate than for herself. As a patient, she thinks of her parents, her children and her husband, who are also the reason why “you want to get ahead, you want to do it all,” she said. Luz del Carmen underwent regular medical examinations and was able to detect cancer in a timely manner. “Being forewarned is a gift that we give ourselves, because that is why we can detect the problem in time. We can also get into the right hands and be with the oncologist, although we are terrified of the word oncology, "he said.

Testing in Nogales The George Papanicolaou group of Nogales, Sonora, performs low-cost pap smears and breast examinations to detect cancer early. Angélica Romero de Gaytán, president of this group for 27 years, said that each month they perform an average of 80 papanicolaou tests and breast examinations. Although in the last year no person has been detected cancer or received requests from people who need support to cope with treatment for this disease, other problems have been detected in the studies. Romero pointed out that prevention works and that, for this, they give talks in different parts of Nogales so that women continue to become aware of this. The cost of each Pap test in the George Papanicolaou organization is 150 Mexican pesos (about $ 7.5 dollars), and that of mammograms is 250 pesos (about $ 12.5 dollars).


Ramses Sepulveda, MPA