SAN JOSE, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla led a 40,000-strong march on Sunday through main streets of capital San Jose to promote breast cancer prevention.
Dressed in pink, the color of the international breast cancer prevention campaign, Chinchilla marched to raise awareness and funds for the Ana Ross Foundation, an non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting early detection and treatment of cancer among women, as well as offering support to victims and their families.
"It is essential to have the basic elements to be able to detect cancer early," said the president. "If it is detected early, it is much easier to treat later stages."
Chinchilla completed the 5-km marching event, now in its ninth year, accompanied by a group of cancer-afflicted minors from the National Children's Hospital.
According to data from Costa Rica's Social Security Institute, in the past 15 years, the incidence of breast cancer among Costa Ricans has shot up 67 percent, and the mortality rate of the disease has increased 22 percent.