In 2012 I visited Curaçao for the first time. I immediately wanted to know about the quality of cancer care and visited the hospital. I was ashamed for my country, the Netherlands. What I did see on this beautiful island was that we leave our people oversee on their own. The rich Netherlands do not take care enough for their fellow citizens! I also visited the prevention centre: ‘Fundashon Prevenshon’. I was impressed by the achievements of the crew. Wonderful and good care already. The screening for breast cancer was set up and the first results were more or less the same as when we started in the Netherland a long time ago.
This year February, I was even more amazed and very much impressed by the centre for screening. The quality of the screening and the whole process is better than in the Netherlands. We can learn from the people oversee. And when in 2012 screening only took place for breast cancer, now they also screen for cervical cancer and soon they start with screening for colon cancer.
What is so good in breast cancer screening, is that they first determine whether the woman needs a mammography or an MRI (this depends on the structure of the tissue). The woman immediately knows if it’s good news or bad news. A big advantage over the Netherlands (and other countries) where we start with a mammography for all women.
The crew, lead by Mrs. Louise Elstak, works closely with Mr. Bob Pinedo (our Inspire2Live patient advocate hero or cancer). Bob now investigates whether urine can be used for colon cancer screening. Much easier to use and probably also more precise. Let’s hope he succeeds in this as he has been successful in his long career many times.
In one centre screening for breast, cervix and colon cancer with top radiologists and a top crew, doing a great job. The people of Curacao can and should be proud on this. It’s a great example of thinking with the patient in mind. As it should be the case in all situations.
CEO and Patient Advocate Inspire2Live