Cost of Cancer Treatment in Latin America and Future Challenges

The global economic cost of new cancer cases in 2009, including medical and non-medical costs, lost productivity, and the cost of cancer research, is estimated to have amounted to at least $ 286 billion. (1)Economist Intelligence Unit. Breakaway: the global burden of cancer— challenges and opportunities, 2009. http://www.livestrong.Org/pdfs/GlobalEconomicImpact (accessed Aug 14, 2012).

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Cancer Treatment in the Urban and Rural Sector in Latin America

The WHO defines urban, rural and remote areas by the characteristics of the settlements, such as population density and accessibility to urban areas. (1)WHO. Increasing access to health workers in remote and rural areas through improved retention. Http://www.who.int/hrh/retention/guidelines/en/index.html (accessed Sept 22, 2012).

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Current Health Systems in Latin America

All health systems in Latin America face the challenge of epidemiological transition and population aging, with the consequent increase in the burden of non-communicable diseases and chronic diseases. (1)Knaul FM, Frenk J, Shulman L, et al, for the Global Task Force on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries. Closing the cancer divides: a blueprint to expand access in low and middle income countries. Harvard Global Equity Initiative, Boston, MA, October 2011. http://ghsm.hms.harvard.Edu/uploads/pdf/ccd_report_111027.pdf (accessed Feb 13, 2013).

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Opioid Consumption in Latin America and the Caribbean

Purposes for cancer treatment in Latin America

There are many challenges for the treatment of cancer pain in Latin America; effective application of opioid use is an example. (1)Joranson DE. Improving availability of opioid pain medications: testing the principle of balance in Latin America. J Palliat Med 2004; 7: 105–14. Morphine and other opioids are necessary to control severe pain, and WHO it has included them in the list of essential medicines. (2)WHO. Health topics. Essential medicines. http://www.who.int/selection_medicines/list/en/ (accessed Jul 1, 2012). Apart from the indications Defined medical drugs, these drugs have potential for abuse and have been classified as controlled substances by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. (3)International Narcotics Control Board. Single convention on narcotic drugs. http://www.incb.org/incb/en/narcotic-drugs/1961_Convention.html (accessed Feb 13, 2013).

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