“The first time I saw Mrs. A, she was crying. She felt degraded because of her cancer. Her wound was contaminate and had a wretched smell. She said even though she was not yet deceased, she was ashamed to sit near others.
Although every region in Latin America is unique, there is an ever growing demand for radiation therapy equipment in both public and private hospitals. Most private centers cannot afford the more extravagant and newer technologies, and will often solicit refurbished machines to provide care for their patients.
Mexico, and most other Latin American other countries, fall somewhere in between, with a healthy mixture of new and refurbished equipment being sold each year. Larger, public hospitals or wealthier private centers offer newer equipment. Private centers, and those in more remote regions, are able to open and operate using refurbished equipment, mostly coming from the U.S. As populations’ age and infectious disease control extends lifespan, cancer and other non-communicable diseases are becoming increasingly significant burdens of mortality in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) . Over 70% of cancer cases will be diagnosed in LMIC by 2030 . Yet most developing countries do not have the resources or infrastructure to prevent, diagnose, or treat this growing burden of cancer . Compounding the issue is the lack of cancer registries and cancer treatment capacity in most of the d...
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...exist in the literature about these issues. This systematic review identifies major challenges to delivering RT in these regions, including lack of physical resources, lack of human personnel, and lack of data. DIRAC reports and online resources likely reflect real-time changes in RT capacity, but non-DIRAC-originated reports tend to be out of date, even in countries with national cancer registries. Institutions should publish more data on their capacity to deliver RT and the specific challenges they face; only then can interventions aimed at mitigating these issues be developed. Where possible, neighboring countries should collaborate and share resources to improve the scope of RT delivery, particularly when there is an economic disparity between neighboring countries. Furthermore, international funding agencies should make increasing RT capacity in LMIC a priority.
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