Background and Context:
Every year, more than one million Latin Americans are diagnosed with cancer, over two million live with the disease, and more than 600,000 die.Reducing such burden requires all stakeholders to join forces in concerted actions to improve cancer control whilst considering the region’s circumstances.
Aim:To promote multi-sector and cross-country knowledge-sharing and collaboration in the field of oncology in Latin America by convening key stakeholders to discuss cancer control in the region with a view to reaching an agreement on priorities with a concrete call-to-action.
In May 2014, UICC and SLACOM jointly convened the Forum for Improving Cancer Control in Latin America, gathering in Bogotá leading physicians and NGO representatives from nine countries from the region.
The Forum consisted of interactive, professionally moderated roundtable discussions and small group sessions. They focused on the current status of cancer control in the region, main goals and challenges, as well as priority actions on how to improve prevention, diagnosis, access to treatment and care, and patient quality of life. Topics were analyzed from three different perspectives – individual, healthcare institutions, and public policy – in order to get a 360° view and identify key issues in each case.
Outcomes/What was learned:
Agreement was reached on the need to develop processes and define protocols for early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, focus on palliative care as a public policy, strengthen education and training of health professionals, and facilitate access to healthcare at the right time and to treatment with multidisciplinary support. Learnings from the Forum will be disseminated through an official document. The meeting also set the basis for the establishment of a lasting working group, multi-sectorial in character and regional in scope.
The Forum was also possible thanks to an unrestricted grant from Bayer HealthCare