Why Brazil (LATIN AMERICA), a country (A REGION), with so many issues affecting the basic health attention, sanitation and education should invest in research to combat cancer? Isn´t that for countries that have already overcome such difficulties?
The answer is: because cancer will be the main cause of death in the coming years. I will represent a huge social and economic impact.
Undoubtedly the Latin American countries need to solve key issues in the social and public health areas, such as access to basic health, sanitation and education. However, investments may not focus only those areas, otherwise we would subtract from our cancer patients the possibility of accessing the most recent advances of science that benefit patients from all over the world. The possibility of dying after a cancer diagnosis is twice higher in Latin America, when compared to the United States or Europe. Such reality may only be modified by facilitating the access to new treatments that are now available thanks to the researches. Consequently the resources assigned to the development of researches are converted in direct benefit to the civil society, opening opportunities of access to cutting edge treatments that are not offered yet by the public health networks (additionally, since these are new drugs, they will not be available even in the private systems). Local research and generation of knowledge are the main weapons to change the condition of Latin America, where most patients receive treatments below those received in other locations.