Breast and cervical cancer can be prevented or cured if diagnosed early and treated. Yet these two diseases are the leading killers of women throughout Latin America.
Experts believe that in order to improve access to health care and provide better preventive care for women in Latin American countries, health systems need to be strengthened and women´s cancers must be prioritized, while at the same time mainstreamed into health care. A strong and growing evidence-based, civil society and patient engagement movement is taking important steps to work regionally to respond to this tremendous challenge to the health and well-being of women.
Coinciding with Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in conjunction with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the University of Miami will take an important step toward building the hemispheric synergy to help women in Latin America by hosting the first Women´s Cancers in the Americas: Strategies for Synergy symposium on October 5 and 6, on the University’s Coral Gables campus.
“The University of Miami is poised to take a catalytic leadership role by creating hemispheric bridges that will strengthen health systems, promote gender equity and close divides in access to cancer care and control for women,” said Felicia Marie Knaul, director of the University of Miami Institute for the Americas (U-MIA). “The opportunities are huge.”
The symposium – undertaken by the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Miller School of Medicine and sponsored by the University of Miami Institute for the Americas, in collaboration with Tómatelo a Pecho, the Unión Latinoamericana Contra el Cáncer de la Mujer, and the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – will generate new evidence, provide platforms, and produce innovative future projects to take advantage of opportunities for action.
The symposium is part of UM’s hemispheric platform and is a key component of the U-MIA strategic initiative on women’s cancer in the Americas. Collaborations between Latin America and South Florida will be tremendously important and the symposium is designed to catalyze these new and novel initiatives.
This seminar – the first of its kind at the University – will broaden the focus to Latin America, capitalize on the work already done at Sylvester, including migrant communities in South Florida, highlight challenges to access while identifying opportunities to strengthen health system responses and improve outcomes. By building upon existing efforts and programs for women´s health and health care access in South Florida, the seminar will initiate a strategic dialogue to create linkages and identify collaborative platforms that can be extended to Latin America.
Other Sylvester and UM events related to Breast Cancer Awareness Month include:
“Pink Powder:” an exhibit of renowned works from the de la Cruz Collection at UM’s Otto G. Richter Library, ongoing.
Light the Cobb Fountain Pink: October 4 at 7 p.m., Lake Osceola.
Miami Hurricanes vs. North Carolina “Pink Game:” October 15 at Hard Rock Stadium.