In commemoration of World Cancer Day, which is being observed today, we will highlight several videos this week showing the impact of cancer on several Latin American countries.
According to the World Health Organization, (WHO), cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide and it kills more people on Earth than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Researchers believe that factors such as increased rates of tobacco use, poorer diets and greater exposure to hazardous chemicals have led to most cancer deaths occurring in developing countries.
Regarding Latin America, the WHO praised the region for establishing national plans to combat cancer.
“Within Latin America there is great activity. A network of national cancer institutes was created recently thanks to the UNASUR bloc, which allows for dialogue and the exchanging of experiences,” noted WHO official Andreas Ullrich to BBC Mundo. Nevertheless, Ullrich also observed that these initiatives are in their early stages and there’s still a long road ahead.
Certain sectors in some Latin American countries are especially vulnerable to the cancer epidemic. Such is the case in Honduras where one in nine women suffer from cancer.
The most common forms of cancer in Honduras are cervical cancer followed by breast cancer with the latter causing an estimated 350 yearly deaths. As a result, women between the ages of 36 and 55 are believed to be the most vulnerable group to suffer from cancer in that Central American nation.
Despite the difficulties faced by Honduran women numerous organizations strive to promote cancer awareness. One of these campaigns was organized last October when several hundred women marched through the streets of Tegucigalpa.
“For several years we have informed women at risk (of cancer) to undergo a mammogram and on this day we’re once against launching a message of hope,” said Lía Bueso, head of a women’s organization against cancer, to the EFE news agency.
As seen in the video below the page break, the “Pink Carnival” attracted Hondurans representing all walks of life including activists, children, and cancer survivors:
Video Source – YouTube via Seminario Fides
Online Sources – BBC Mundo, Globovision, El Heraldo, World Heath Organization, USA TODAY