Brazilian president unveils breast, cervical cancer prevention program

13:22, March 22, 2011      

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced on Monday the launch of a nationwide program for the prevention of breast and cervical cancer.

"I know by experience how easier it is to have cancer cured when it is treated early," the president said.

In 2009, when she was President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's chief of staff, Rousseff was diagnosed with a lymphoma. The early discovery of the cancer, made in a routine mammogram, was considered essential to her quick recovery. Rousseff remained in her position while undergoing chemotherapy for four months.

The government will invest 4.5 billion reais (2.7 billion U.S. dollars) for the program. The federal government will provide free cervical smear exams for all women aged 25 to 59 in Brazil, as well as free mammogram in public hospitals, the president said.

There are some 4,000 mammograph facilities in Brazil, with half of them in public hospitals.

The program also foresees 20 centers specialized in these diseases in the northern and northeastern regions, the poorest in Brazil. In addition, the public hospitals will increase investment in cancer treatments.

Source: Xinhua
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