(NEW YORK) – Though there are fewer cases of cancer in Latin America than there are in the United States or Europe, experts say that the percentage of people who die from the disease in the region is much higher, according to BBC News.
The Lancet Oncology report find that this disparity can be explained mainly because treatment is not as accessible or advanced in Latin America as it is in the U.S. or Europe, and that it’s often detected later.
This problem is made more apparent as life expectancies increase.
Though cancer is generally rarer in Latin America, the study finds that as the region becomes more modernized, people begin to take up unhealthy habits and live a more sedentary lifestyle, making them more prone to cancer, and when treatment isn't readily available, it's a problem.
There are 163 cases of cancer per 100,000 people, compared to 300 in the Unites States. However, in Latin America there are 13 deaths for every 22 cancer cases, compared to the U.S.’s 13 deaths for every 37 cases.
"This burgeoning cancer problem threatens to cause widespread suffering and economic peril to the countries of Latin America,” said the leader of the research team, Paul Goss, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
"The region is poorly equipped to deal with the alarming rise in cancer incidence and disproportionately high mortality rates compared with other world regions, underscoring the magnitude of the cancer-control problem," Goss said.
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