A post shared by Cancer Foundation (@cancerfederation) on Oct 8, 2017 at 8:23am PDT #Cancers is the #1 trending topic on Twitter in Bolivia with more than 23,000 followers.
But this month, the story of cancer in the country of 4.3 million is also the story around the globe.
A new study published in the Lancet on October 9 reveals that cancer incidence is higher in the northern part of Bolivia than in the rest of the country, which means more people are living with cancer than in other regions of the world.
“Bolivians are more vulnerable to the risk of developing cancers, especially cancers of the cervix and uterus, than the rest, and that this is the case even if they live in the southern part of the Republic,” said Dr Daniela Guzman, a professor at the University of Bolivar in Bolivia.
“These cancers have a higher risk in people who have lived in Bolivia for a long time and those who live in rural areas, where there is little social contact.”
Dr Guzman also said that the increased cancer risk was due to factors such as the high number of people living in rural communities, poor living conditions and the lack of access to healthcare.
She said the cancer incidence in Bolivia has increased from 6.4 per 100,000 people in the 1980s to 20.7 per 100 million people in 2018.
According to the National Cancer Surveillance System, the country had about 1,300 new cases of cancer last year, the highest in South America.
But according to Guzman’s analysis, the number of new cancer cases has decreased by almost 10 per cent in recent years.
“The incidence of cervical cancer is increasing, and the number and type of new cases have decreased dramatically in the last five years,” she said.
“It is not just that the incidence is decreasing, it is also that many more people in rural and indigenous communities have had their lives affected by cancer and are seeking help for their symptoms.”
The study also showed that the number, type and frequency of cancers that people with pre-existing cancers in Bolivia had increased.
The new study also revealed that women in rural regions have the highest incidence of colorectal cancer, which can also lead to breast cancer, and is also a leading cause of death among women.
Dr Guzonas study showed that women living in the more isolated and isolated areas had higher cancer incidence rates than women living close to communities.
She also said the increased incidence in women living with a history of cancer is linked to a reduction in social contact and exposure to other people.
“Cancer rates in rural Bolivia are much higher than those in other Latin American countries, but these factors make it difficult to prevent the spread of cancer,” she added.
According the United Nations World Health Organization, the global burden of cancer deaths is estimated at 5 million a year.
“There is no doubt that cancer is the most important public health problem of our time,” Dr Guzman said.