A study published in the medical journal The Lancet Oncology, conducted by several researchers and experts in the field, indicated that Latin America is a region that has grown economically, but its inhabitants are used to a sedentary lifestyle, marked by high consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and a large percentage of obesity.
These factors have not only caused an increase in the rates of patients with cancer, which is expected to increase more than 33 per cent by 2020, but an excessively high number of deaths from this disease.
“If corrective measures are not taken, this problem will increase in a greater scale, will cause massive suffering and threaten the economies of the region”, said Paul Goss, a Professor of the Harvard School of medicine, who led the study, during an event in Sao Paulo on Friday.
The study indicated that while Latin Americans get cancer at one lower rate than those who reside in the United States, they are twice as likely to die from this disease, because of the treatments used in Latin America, as more than half of who live in the region have little or no medical coverage, and public health has a large focus on preventive medicine. For this reason, the study suggests that Latin American countries made changes in their health policies, invest more in public health, and expand access to cancer patients so they can be treated on time.
In Ecuador, cancer is the third leading cause of death, after heart failure and traffic accidents, with higher incidence of neoplasms in the stomach, prostate and uterus cancer, according to the director of the hospital in Machala, Carlos Arreaga Solca.