‘Practical’ Approach To Addressing Cancer In Latin America Should Include Early Detection Programs For Certain Cancers
The Hill: Proposing a pragmatic approach to decrease cancer in Latin America
Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen, and Eric T. Rosenthal, founder of the National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Centers Public Affairs Network
“…Most Latin American nations do not have widespread, effective cancer screening initiatives for asymptomatic healthy individuals that would use, for example, mammograms to look for breast cancer, or colonoscopies for colorectal cancer. Many of the governments in these nations do not think such efforts are cost-effective since they are lacking in the equipment and expertise necessary for the screening of the population at large to be efficacious. … So according to [Jorge Gomez, a cancer researcher at the University of Arizona’s College of Public Health, and] other experts, the next best strategy would be to launch early-detection programs that educate citizens about potential signs of early cancers when they are most treatable, and when detected, can be treated at no cost through each nation’s universal health care system. … [I]t’s better to start doing what’s doable and can have the greatest immediate impact on public health than strive initially for strategies that aren’t practical. … [G]ood intentions and good leadership are severely limited if nations here and abroad don’t adopt meaningful global health-first policies” (4/27).