Latin America ‘threatened by rising cancer cases’

Cancer is threatening to overwhelm Latin American countries, experts writing in Lancet Oncology warn.

Latin American article

There are far fewer cases of cancer in the region than in the US or Europe – but the proportion who die is far higher, they say.

Late diagnosis and poor access to treatment are the main reasons for the disparity, they add.

They said as life expectancy increased, cancer would become more common, and many countries would not cope.

The experts looked at cancer incidence and care in the Latin American and Caribbean region, including the following countries: Argentina, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, French Guiana, Guyana, Honduras, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Paraguay and El Salvador.

Risk factors

Writing in a Lancet Oncology report that is being officially launched at a specialist conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, they say as the economies of these countries grow, and standards of living increase, people are increasingly adopting the habits of more developed countries.

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