Tómatelo a Pecho, Funsalud, the Harvard Global Equity Initiative, and the Mexican Ministry of Health led a group of institutions in organising the Sixth Annual International Symposium marking breast cancer awareness month in Mexico on 20–21 October 2014. This year’s event, with the theme ‘Young Women and Breast Cancer: Challenges and Answers’, took place at the National Institute of Perinatology in Mexico City.
This was the first time the symposium focused almost entirely on young women. The reasons for this emphasis were reported on by many national and global experts, who also presented evidence to show that breast cancer has become a leading cause of death among younger women in Mexico, and conveyed the benefits of early breast cancer detection and the need to create innovative solutions for care and survivorship support for this age group.
Over the course of one-and-a-half days, the symposium covered a wide range of topics and perspectives, including the epidemiology, biology, and genetics of breast cancer; challenges; and innovative answers to early detection and the myriad of short- and long-term challenges faced by patients with breast cancer, such as some cutting-edge techniques used to preserve fertility in women undergoing chemotherapy.
How the presence of local and global stakeholders will ensure the accountability of the multiple participants already immersed in the various areas of research and activities related to breast cancer. The voices of the Ministry of Health and of other institutions central to the Mexican health system show that there is a political will for work in this area, and there are the means to make a change happen.