O lung cancer is the neoplastic disease more deadly in Latin America and receiving less attention from the health sector, the study "Lung cancer in Latin America: It's time to stop looking the other way," conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
In the study presented at the Congress of the Mexican Society of Oncology (SMEO), data from 12 Latin American countries were analyzed, indicating that in Mexico 99% of lung cancer they are diagnosed in stage three or four, while in the rest of the countries of the region the rate is 85%.
Irene Mia, EIU's global editorial director, said that in relation to this type of cancer, there is no
Sufficient data in the Latin American regionTherefore, we work on the identification of three priority areas in health policies for cancer control: smoking control, access and early diagnosis.
Health experts, who collaborated on the research, believe that stigma over this type of cancer is a barrier that hinders the dedication of more specific policies and resources relative to other types of cancer.
"It is believed that patients who smoked had the disease," said Dr. Oscar Arrieta, chief of the Lung Unit of the National Cancer Institute (INCAN), and pointed out that smoking is an addiction in which the Mexican state " did enough to avoid ".
Although smoking continues to be the main cause of
Lung cancer, 40% are due to unrelated causes, such as the presence of arsenic in the water, air pollution and the use of firewood as fuel in kitchens.
In Mexico, this type of cancer is not covered by the Seguro Popular – which provides coverage for more than 40% of the population that does not have insurance or social security – which contributes to the country's positioning at low levels in the country. control of smoking, access and early diagnosis.
In Latin America, 60,000 people die each year from lung cancer, while in Mexico in 2010, 10,000 new cases were diagnosed and, according to Arrieta, by the year 2025 the number should double to 20,000. that "the amount of mortality will be very similar".
Ricardo Pérez Cuevas, director of research at the National Institute of Public Health, said the study reflects the challenges to improve lung cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and there is no single answer to the problems linked to it in Latin America. Latina
Pérez Cuevas commented that in Mexico, the INCan, the Mexican Health Foundation and the National Institute of Public Health work with a proposal based on costs
fight against lung cancer and smoking, which will be presented to the Mexican authorities.
"Our hope is that the policy for the treatment of lung cancer is stable, has the necessary history and we can advance the access and effectiveness of the treatment," he concluded.