Cancer organizations vow to intensify action against a predicted tsunami of new cancer cases and cancer deaths in Latin America
Dr. Juan Pablo Uribe Restrepo, Minister of Health and Social Protection, expresses his support
In a potential breakthrough in cancer prevention and early detection in Latin America, leading cancer organizations from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru and the USA have committed to intensify their work to avert millions of preventable cancer deaths across the region. The Bogota Statement on Leading BOLD Cancer Prevention into the Future was agreed by attendees of a two-day meeting hosted by Liga Colombiana Contra el Cáncer and American Cancer Society.
Cancer leaders call the predicted tsunami of new cancer cases and cancer deaths a public health emergency, which is exacerbating social, economic and health inequities. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in Latin America. If current trends continue, there will be a 91 percent increase in cancer incidence across the region between 2012 and 2035, to 1.8 million new cancer cases every year and cancer deaths will double to around 1 million deaths annually.
It’s estimated that more than 30 percent of all cancer deaths are preventable. Tobacco is associated with more than 14 different cancers and causes more than 20 percent of cancer deaths, globally. Obesity and unhealthy diet is associated with 14 different cancers and alcohol with seven different cancers. Other risk factors associated with the most prevalent cancers across the region include inconsistency of vaccination programs and treatment of cervical, stomach and liver cancer infections.
Dr. Juan Pablo Uribe Restrepo, Colombia’s Minister of Health and Social Protection, attended the meeting to show his support, stating: “We are working to improve the health of the population…We are strongly committed to reducing smoking and are working to reduce the number of tobacco users, especially among youth and students…Together with institutions like the Liga Colombiana Contra el Cáncer, we continue to fight against human papillomavirus. We currently have 32 percent vaccine coverage in Colombia. Our goal is to reach 100 percent coverage.”
Cancer leaders signed a joint declaration, agreeing to intensify their activities across nine key, shared priorities:
- Support measures to increase tobacco taxes as the main tool to reduce tobacco consumption and prevent initiation in young people.
- Urge countries that have not yet signed or ratified the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to be a party to this global treaty, the first international public health treaty which provides the guidelines for tobacco control worldwide
- Monitor and report corporate interference (especially from the tobacco, alcohol and ultra-processed foods industries) in public policy decision-making.
- Advocate for the regulation of electronic nicotine delivery systems (SEAN) and new devices.
- Actively participate in the elimination of cervical cancer through national human papillomavirus vaccination programs and strengthened early detection programs that use DNA-HPV testing.
- Support research and the eradication of Helicobacter Pylori infection to prevent gastric cancer.
- Promote the development of cancer prevention and early detection activities related to the main cancers in the region.
- Contribute to the dissemination of academic research that helps build cancer prevention policies.
- Act in conjunction with existing networks in the region to document and share successful experiences, lessons learned and communication strategies to achieve strong and sustainable progress.
The declaration was signed by:
- Gloría Inés Forero de Ruíz, Presidenta, Liga Colombiana Contra el Cáncer, Colombia
- Carlos José Castro, Medical and Scientific Director, Liga Colombiana Contra el Cáncer, Colombia
- Diana Esperanza Rivera, Directora, Fundación Ellen Riegner de Casas, Colombia
- Blanca Llorente, Directora, Fundación Anáas, Colombia
- Diego Paonesa, CEO, Liga Argentina de Lucha Contra el Cáncer, Argentina
- Luiz Augusto Maltoni Jr., Presidente, Fundação do Câncer, Brasil
- Jorge Jiménez, Presidente, Fundación Foro Nacional de Cáncer, Chile
- Sebastian Jimenez, CEPREME, Ecuador
- Lisseth Ruíz de Campos, Presidente, ASAPRECAN, El Salvador
- Guadalupe Ponciano, Asociación Mexicana de Lucha contra el Cáncer, Mexico
- Adolfo Dammert Ludowieg, Presidente, La Liga contra el Cancer, Peru
- Bill Cance, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, American Cancer Society, USA
- Sally Cowal, Senior Vice President, Global Cancer Control, American Cancer Society, USA
Photographs of the meeting and interviews with participants are available upon request.
Diana María Vargas B.
La Liga Colombiana Contra el Cáncer
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María Fernanda Cárdenas
Vital Strategies; Communications Manager, Colombia
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Vital Strategies; Senior Communications Advisor
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