Visually impaired, medical tactile examiner, Francia Papamija, 35, writes the clinical history of a patient in a computer at a hospital in Cali, Colombia, on November 8, 2017. AFP / Luis ROBAYO
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Garcia and Papamija are two of five women who are blind or visually impaired who have been specially trained to use their fingertips to detect breast cancer, one of Colombia's biggest killers.The disease is responsible for 2,500 deaths annually in Colombia, where 7,000 new cases are detected each year in a country where sophisticated detection equipment is rare.While clinical trials show that a woman performing self-examination can detect masses of between 15-20 millimeters and a doctor can find one of 10 millimeters, the blind can find nodules as small as eight millimeters.Garcia went almost totally blind six years ago after suffering a cerebral thrombosis, a trauma which forced her to cut short her engineering studies.According to Olave, of every 100 nodules detected in the examinations, only about 10 turn out to be malignant.Before becoming tactile medical auxiliaries, Garcia and Papamija had no work, like 62 percent of Colombia's half-million visually impaired people, out of a population of 48 million.
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