CerviCusco – Cervical Cancer Prevention

Recently I’ve been working at an American-operated clinic called CerviCusco.  It is a small women’s clinic located in Larapas, a district within Cusco.  Because cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Peruvian women, the goal of the clinic is to prevent cervical cancer development by screening with pap smears.  You can check out more about the clinic at http://www.cervicusco.org/

The friendly staff at CerviCusco

Typical exam room at the clinic where pap smears or other consults are done.

Another typical exam room. This particular room is also used for colposcopy, a service which is offered at the clinic.

Sterilization room for all the metal speculums and other clinical equipment. It is extremely rare for a clinic in Peru to have its own sterilization equipment.

Working area for volunteers or other clinical staff.

One of the most impressive things about the CerviCusco clinic is it is the only place in all of Cusco (and probably one of few in the entire country) that does the liquid based sampling method of pap smears.  This is a much more reliable and accurate method of cervical screening, but requires a lot of expensive equipment.  Fortunately, CerviCusco has obtained all the necessary equipment, and is able to process all of their own samples, without having to send them out to a lab.  We also have our own pathology reader, Erika, who analyzes every slide under the microscope for evaluation of any abnormal cervical pathology.

Some of the samples being prepared for loading into the processing machines.

Some of the blank slides being prepared for processing.

Me helping to prepare the samples along with our lab pathologist, Erika.

When all the processing is done, these are the final products....specimen slides that each need to be read individually for evidence of pathologic changes.


Our wonderful pathologist, Erika, reads every slide and documents her findings as a final report that is communicated to the patient.

Finally, the pathology lab, which was donated by Harvard University, also has available a teleconferencing center. This center is used to facilitate learning and teaching between U.S. and Peruvian medical staff, and as well to clarify any doubts regarding cervical specimens that may be more complicated or difficult to read.

All in all, CerviCusco is a wonderful place to work, with outstanding facilities and amazing staff.  They also do community campaigns to increase cervical cancer screening in areas where rural women do not have access to health facilities (another post to come on these campaigns later).  For more information about the clinic or volunteering there, please check out their website, http://www.cervicusco.org/




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9 Responses to CerviCusco – Cervical Cancer Prevention

  1. Sam says:

    Wow! This is so great.

  2. Ruia says:

    This really sounds wonderful!

  3. Paul says:

    You are helping make a difference in women’s lives. Good work!
    Tell Janie hello. Paul and Elaine.

  4. Pingback: Centro de Salud – Pisac | Peruzo

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  8. Mckinley Beemon says:

    When exposed to HPV, a woman’s immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm. In a small group of women, however, the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cells on the surface of the cervix to become cancer cells. *;-.

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