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Paraguay’s Ministry of Health approves ‘Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Cervical Cancer’ as national guidance

November 25, 2022

Paraguay’s Ministry of Health approves ‘Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Cervical Cancer’ as national guidance

  • The guidelines were developed as part of the C/Can initiative in the city of Asuncion by a multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral team of cancer professionals.
  • This guidance will be used at a national level and follows the C/Can breast cancer handbook that was also approved as a national document in February 2022. 

Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Cervical Cancer 

The Ministry of Public Health in Paraguay endorsed the ‘Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Cervical Cancer’ to be used as a national reference. This document was developed by cancer experts in the city of Asuncion with the support of City Cancer Challenge (C/Can). 

According to Globocan, Cervical cancer caused 648 deaths in Paraguay in 2020 and is one of the most common cancers in the city of Asuncion, as well as breast cancer.  Both guidelines for their management are upheld to international standards, but have been adapted for local care providers and the Paraguayan health system. 

The guidelines were presented at the Fourth International Medical Oncology Congress in Asuncion, where C/Can held a panel. Dr Graciela Gómez, project coordinator for C/Can and Staff Physician at the National Cancer Institute of Paraguay (INCAN) led the presentation. 

The cervical cancer guidelines follow the breast cancer guidelines, which were approved by the Ministry of Health in February of this year. 

Welcoming the news, Dr Miguel Aguero, President of the Paraguayan Oncology Society, said: “Having two official guidelines for the treatment of cervical and breast cancer in Paraguay is an achievement for the whole country and for C/Can. The implementation of these guidelines will have a huge impact and mean better results for patients.” 

The guide is a reflection of C/Can’s commitment to working with multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral teams. Institutions involved in the creation of these guidelines include Paraguay’s Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the National University of Asuncion, the Social Security Institute and the San Roque Group.

Dr María F. Navarro, C/Can’s Regional Director for Latin America, said: “the progress that Asuncion has made through its commitment to improving cancer care is outstanding. The creation of these standardised guidelines is extremely important and provides cancer care providers with a tool to offer patients the best available care in their country.” 

The year ahead

A campaign to launch the cervical cancer guidelines and support their implementation will begin next year, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.

The “Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer” can be found on the Ministry of Health’s webpage here. The Cervical Cancer guidelines will be held on the same platform shortly. 

The clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer was created in response to the need for recommendations based on scientific evidence, but adapted to the reality on the availability of resources at the ground in Paraguay,” explained Dr Sanabria, adding: “Our goal is to raise the quality of patient care by unifying the criteria of all the physicians involved.”

About C/Can in Asuncion

Asuncion was the second city to join the C/Can initiative in 2018, and respond to the urgent need to reduce inequities in access to quality cancer care through the planning of city-led cancer solutions. C/Can brought together institutions from the private, mixed and public sectors to identify the gaps which hinder the provision of effective care for cancer patients, and how to address them. 

In 2019, Paraguay changed the national cancer law to frame an integrated approach for quality cancer services. This also led to the creation of the National Cancer Advisory Board that includes the Ministry of Health, the National Council for Research and Technologies, public and private hospitals and the Asuncion City Cancer Challenge Executive Committee.