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Lancet Oncol ; 22(11): e474-e487, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488012


The increasing burden of cancer represents a substantial problem for Latin America and the Caribbean. Two Lancet Oncology Commissions in 2013 and 2015 highlighted potential interventions that could advance cancer care in the region by overcoming existing challenges. Areas requiring improvement included insufficient investment in cancer control, non-universal health coverage, fragmented health systems, inequitable concentration of cancer services, inadequate registries, delays in diagnosis or treatment initiation, and insufficient palliative services. Progress has been made in key areas but remains uneven across the region. An unforeseen challenge, the COVID-19 pandemic, strained all resources, and its negative effect on cancer control is expected to continue for years. In this Series paper, we summarise progress in several aspects of cancer control since 2015, and identify persistent barriers requiring commitment of additional resources to reduce the cancer burden in Latin America and the Caribbean.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Neoplasms/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Caribbean Region/epidemiology , Cost of Illness , Delivery of Health Care/economics , Early Detection of Cancer , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Latin America/epidemiology , Medical Oncology/education , Neoplasms/epidemiology
JCO Glob Oncol ; 7: 694-703, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295503


Since December 2019, the world has been mired in an infectious pandemic that has displaced other health priorities for 21st century populations. Concerned about this situation, Latin American experts on cancer decided to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on cancer control in the region. The analysis was based on information obtained from public sources and scientific publications and included the characteristics of the health care and cancer control prior to the pandemic, the COVID-19 pandemic and measures implemented by the governments of the region, and the regional impact of the pandemic on cancer control together with the costs of cancer care and possible impact of the pandemic on cancer expense. We compared 2019 and 2020 data corresponding to the period March 16-June 30 and found a significant reduction in the number of first-time visits to oncology services (variable depending on the country between -28% and -38%) and a corresponding reduction in pathology (between -6% and -50%), cancer surgery (between -28% and -70%), and chemotherapy (between -2% and -54%). Furthermore, a significant reduction in cancer screening tests was found (PAP smear test studies: between -46% and -100%, mammography: between -32% and -100%, and fecal occult blood test: -73%). If this situation becomes a trend, the health and economic impact will be compounded in the postpandemic period, with an overload of demand on health services to ensure diagnostic tests and consequent treatments. On the basis of this information, a set of prevention and mitigation measures to be immediately implemented and also actions to progressively strengthen health systems are proposed.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Economic Recession , Medical Oncology/trends , Neoplasms/therapy , Physical Distancing , COVID-19/economics , Female , Humans , Latin America/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control