Within the framework of the celebration of World Cancer Day, February 4th, the Central American and Caribbean Federation of Pharmaceutical Laboratories (Fedefarma) calls on the population to adopt healthy lifestyles and preventive measures that contribute to the decrease of the incidence of cancer, as well as to comply with the recommended medical control for the early detection of this disease.
If concrete actions are taken by the population and the health authorities of each country, around 3.7 million lives can be saved each year, since genetic mutations are involved in between 5% and 10% of cancers, but 27% of these are related to the consumption of alcohol and tobacco, according to data from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Case of Costa Rica
According to the predictions of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO), the increase in cancer cases by 2040 would be 77%.
“Clinical research has become a great ally that has made it possible to determine which innovative therapies the patient could react to positively. A situation that reaffirms the need for our health systems to channel their efforts towards this practice and review their investment levels, which will allow patients to access increasingly innovative, safe and effective therapies”, added Victoria Brenes, Executive Director of Fedefarma.
Fedefarma highlights that, although there has been enormous progress in understanding many types of cancer, there are still many challenges to overcome. For example, in low- and middle-income countries (LICs) only 5% of global resources are spent on preventing and controlling cancer, according to the WHO.
By 2040, cancer would claim 12,004 lives in Costa Rica, 7,341 in Panama, 19,530 in Guatemala and 21,655 in the Dominican Republic, for a total of 60,530 deaths, according to IARC predictions.
Cancer and the pandemic:
For Fedefarma, although during these years of pandemic, medical services have suffered alterations due to the need to attend to the health emergency, it is necessary to guarantee the timely diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer, in any of its stages.
“For cancer patients, the lack of a timely diagnosis, and of adequate treatment and medication is deadly, so these people must continue to monitor their health condition, while maintaining the health protocols established in the pandemic and should not miss their appointments”, highlighted the Executive Director of Fedefarma.