The new Code, which forms part of the World Code Against Cancer, aims to help reduce the burden of cancer in the region by providing recommendations based on the most recent scientific evidence.
“The Code is particularly relevant for primary health care providers, who are the first point of contact with the health system,” PAHO Director, Dr. Barbosa noted. “It is our hope that, through this Code, we can collectively influence positive changes in health policies and behaviors, in our efforts to prevent cancer.”
The Code describes actions and interventions that are proven to lower cancer-related incidence and mortality, including policies on preventing tobacco use and reducing alcohol consumption; limiting exposure to carcinogens, such as air pollution; preventing and/or treating infections related to cancer; and promoting medical interventions and screening.
The Code also includes recommendations for policymakers and governments on creating enabling environments that support the uptake and implementation of the guidance outlined in the Code.
The recommendations are aligned with the WHO cost-effective interventions for noncommunicable diseases, known as the ‘Best Buys’ as well as the cancer prevention strategies promoted by PAHO.
The recommendations in the Code were developed by more than 60 experts from Latin America and the Caribbean, tailored to the epidemiological, socio-economic, and cultural context of the region, with guidance from IARC and PAHO, Dr. Carolina Espina, IARC scientist and project lead, said.
“This is expected to increase by almost two-thirds to 2.3 million cases, and by more than three-quarters to 1.25 million deaths, per year by 2040. The Latin America and the Caribbean Code Against Cancer, which was developed to target the needs of this region, is a powerful evidence-based cancer prevention tool to help individuals and policymakers address, and perhaps reverse, these trends.”
“Almost 1.4 million new cases of cancer occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2020, and more than 700,000 people died of cancer in the region that year.”
The Code includes a series of 17 recommendations uniquely adapted to the socio-economic and cultural context of Latin America and the Caribbean.