World Cancer Leaders' Summit held in Mexico

“This event is our best opportunity to keep cancer in the national agenda of public health," said the director of the National Cancer Institute
Monuments like the Diana the Huntress Fountain were illuminated in orange to mark the beginning of the Summit - Photo: Yadin Xolalpa/EL UNIVERSAL
13/11/2017
14:56
Perla Miranda
Mexico City
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Increasing investment on prevention, early detection, access to medication, rehabilitation, and providing support to cancer survivors are just some of the goals of the 2017 World Cancer Leader's Summit, to be held in Mexico City on November 13 and 14, according to the announcement made by Abelardo Meneses, general director of the National Cancer Institute in Mexico (InCan).

During a press conference, Meneses said this event “is an opportunity to capitalize on the efforts our institutions have made regarding the Comprehensive Program on Cancer Prevention and Control, and the National Cancer Registry, which is already operating.”

The importance of the summit taking place in Mexico, according to Menses, is that the entirety of Latin America has “a big problem” with cancer. “We do not have national records, or control and prevention programs,” he said, pointing out Mexico has to become a leader in the development of public policies on this disease.

He said 190 thousand new cancer cases are diagnosed every year in Mexico, while 80 thousand people die on average because of it within the same time-frame. “Seven out of ten patients are diagnosed during the advanced stages; it's something we need to work on.”

The director of the InCan detailed the World Summit is an important forum which gathers between 250 and 300 decision makers from around the world who establish public policies to reduce the mortality rate of this disease and exchange information on diagnosis and timely treatment.

In Mexico, cancer is the third leading cause of death, reason why the director of the Cancer Institute claimed hosting the summit is an opportunity to raise awareness in the key decision makers.

According to Meneses, the lack of professional radiotherapists – therefore, access to radiotherapy – and the limited number of linear accelerators for radiation therapy are the main problems Mexico is currently facing regarding cancer.

Another of this year's summit goals  is to define a global program against cancer and educate and involve the general population “so they now, above all, how to gain access to treatment and the technology involved in controlling the disease.”

“This event is our best opportunity to keep cancer in the national agenda of public health and support the goals established in The World Cancer Declaration issued in July 2006 in Washington.”

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