Thursday, June 16, 2011

One has to focus on the positive

NEJAPA, El Salvador -- Three trips to Central America with PINCC, and I still struggle with this inevitable conflict of emotions: Cervical cancer is always found during a trip, and as the guy handling all the paperwork, I am aware of all the details. This time, it was two in one day (out of 60 women) -- one that's certain, the other probable. Always sad because this cancer is totally preventable. (Some American gynecologists see it maybe twice in their whole careers, by the way.)

On the other hand, how many lives were saved because the medical team (PINCC volunteers and Salvadoran medicos alike) successfully identified pre-cancerous lesions that were treated and which otherwise would have gone unnoticed and untreated until it was too late? Nearly a couple of dozen, and it's incredibly gratifying to be part of a team doing this work.

One more work day here, and then on to Nicaragua for two weeks in two communities.

-- Larry Shushan, PINCC volunteer in El Salvador

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