Cancer in the Americas
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Americas region, where there were an estimated 2.8 million new cancer cases and 1.3 million cancer deaths in 2012. The most common cancers in the Region include: lung, prostate and colorectal cancers in men; and breast, lung and colorectal cancers in women. With an aging population, and with the epidemiological transition in Latin America and the Caribbean, the cancer burden is projected to increase significantly.
The current scientific evidence suggests that 40% of cancers can be prevented, through reduction of risk factors and primary prevention; a further 30% can be cured if detected early and treated appropriately; and all cases of advanced cancer can benefit from palliative care.
However, countries in the Americas, especially low and middle income countries are challenged to meet the demand generated on their health systems from cancer and other chronic diseases. PAHO/WHO promotes a comprehensive approach to cancer prevention and control which includes developing a national cancer plan with evidence-based interventions for prevention, screening and early detection, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care.