San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Social Security System acquires mobile mammography machine

Health workers from the Social Security System, or Caja, will tour rural communities across the country to perform low-cost mammograms using a new mobile mammography machine the institution recently acquired.

The Caja’s goal is to offer at least 6,000 tests a year, in order to expand coverage and increase patient survival. Recent studies show that the combination of early diagnosis and prompt treatment significantly reduces mortality rates.

The new equipment was obtained thanks to a joint effort by private companies and foreign governments such as the German Embassy, Automercado, BCR, ​Aliarse ​Foundation, Channel 7 and Clínica Biblica Hospital, whose doctors will help with the screenings.

Caja hospitals performed 80,000 mammograms last year, but current demand exceeds actual capacity, so the initiative is “an important contribution to address the growing impact of this disease,” Luis Saenz, executive director for the Caja’s Project for Cancer Care, said.

Treatment at an early stage can help avoid breast removal in more than half of cases and leads to survival rates of 87 percent with no involved nodes, Caja authorities said.

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