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Will Mexico's aging population see cancer care as a priority?

For this dynamic middle-income country, it's time to think about cancer futures

ecancermedicalscience

Mexico is undergoing a transformation: ranked as the second largest economy in Latin America, it's an increasingly dynamic middle-income country -- and its population is ageing rapidly. How will this relate to the burden of cancer?

Mexico is an interesting case study for the relationship between population ageing and cancer burden, according to new research published in ecancermedicalscience.

Researchers led by Dr Ajay Aggarwal of the Institute of Cancer Policy, Kings College London, UK, examined population data, cancer databases, and the research output of Mexican institutions to produce predictions and recommendations.

They expect that the cancer burden will fall most heavily on a rapidly expanding -- but often overlooked -- population: the elderly.

The number of new cancer cases in Mexico is expected to increase by nearly 75% by 2030, with the majority occurring in elderly patients.

"Elderly populations, particularly women and those living in rural areas, face significant barriers to accessing high quality cancer care in Mexico," writes Dr Aggarwal.

"They are vulnerable to diagnostic delays and potentially impoverishing expenditures."

Dr Aggarwal and his colleagues have identified this as an area of urgent need.

"The impact on cancer outcomes and quality of life are potentially profound given the expected rise in cancer burden," Dr Aggarwal says.

It is hoped that this research paper will continue to advance the discussion of cancer control in Latin America, a region facing increasing cancer challenges -- while demonstrating significant promise and potential.

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Reference:

Aggarwal Ajay, Unger-Saldaña Karla, Lewison Grant and Sullivan Richard (2015) The challenge of cancer in middle-income countries with an ageing population: Mexico as a case study ecancer 9 536 DOI: 10.3332/ecancer.2015.536

Read the paper here: http://ecancer.org/news/7290-will-mexico-s-ageing-population-see-cancer-care-as-a-priority.php

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