What factors increase the risk?

Ecuador annually reports some 32,000 new cases of cancer and 18,000 deaths from this disease, reported this Tuesday the president of the Ecuadorian Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Pichincha chapter, Santiago Córdova.

“Ecuador is a country of 18 million inhabitantsthere are approximately 32,000 new cancer cases each year in the country,” Córdova said in an interview with Efe.

He added that “18,000 people die a year related to cancer in Ecuador, the main one being mamawith 12%”, followed by those of prostate (11), stomach (8) and thyroid (5%).

However, he highlighted the drop in the percentages of cervical cancer due to the human papillomavirus vaccine, and the increasing performance of cervical-vaginal cytology (pap smear).

He also commented that mortality from breast cancer has decreased since earlier diagnoses are now made and there are also improvements in surgery and chemotherapy and radiotherapy, “but it is still a prevalent disease worldwide.”

Based on data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), pointed out that “breast cancer is the most common with more than 2.2 million cases per year in 2020, which means that now it will be more or less 2.5 million cases.”

“About 700,000 women died last year from this disease, and more women get sick and die from breast cancer in poor countries,” he said.


Factors that increase the risk of breast cancer include aging, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, family history, radiation exposure, prolonged use of hormones, and very early menstruation.

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According to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC), breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women Ecuador.

Córdova noted that a major problem is “that about half of breast cancer cases are in women without any identifiable risk factors. This is serious,” he said.

“Something we are seeing with concern is the appearance of cancer in women of before age 40“, some with no family history, he said.

This will be one of the topics that will be discussed at the I International Meeting of Gynecological Endocrinology and Minimally Invasive Surgery, which will take place between September 22 and 24, in Quito.

Córdova attributes the increase in cases of cancer because the population is exposed to more solar radiation, to pesticides and chemicals, to foods stimulated by hormones, genetically modified.

Now “there is new technology to diagnose and drugs to treat, but the important thing would be to prevent cancer from appearing,” he stressed.

Precisely, at the meeting they will talk about technological advances related to minimally invasive surgery and tomorrow, on the eve of the inauguration, they will perform robotic surgery on a 45-year-old woman with limited financial resources.

Normally a robotic surgery of the uterus costs up to 20,000 dollars, but the hysterectomy for the woman at the Metropolitan hospital will be completely free, Córdova said.


The international meeting, in which doctors and experts from the US, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Ecuador will participate, will also discuss contraception, said the Ecuadorian doctor, whose country ranks second in pregnancy adolescent in Latin America.

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For Córdova, it is “urgently required” sex education in Ecuador, disassociate the issue from political issues or issues related to abortion because “what contraception prevents is precisely abortion.”

According to the INEC, in 2019 there were 51,711 live births of “adolescent women” between the ages of 10 and 19.

“That means that almost two out of every ten women who give birth in Ecuador are teenage mothers. The figure is worrying, but it is even more so when it indicates that 1,816 girls, between 10 and 14 years old, had a child,” he warned about data that also account for gender violence in the country.