A call to action: strengthening services to improve childhood cancer survival in Latin America and the Caribbean

Silva Jr.

[Extract ] As childhood mortality from infectious diseases continues to dramatically decline in resource-limited settings, cancers account for a greater proportion of deaths in those aged 19 years and younger. Childhood cancer is a significant public health issue for several reasons: its high disease burden (1), the wide disparities in survival rates (estimated at 30% in low- and middle-income countries and over 80% in high-income countries) (2), and the limited political prioritization in national health programs despite the highly cost-effective nature of pediatric cancer interventions (3). Unlike other types of cancer, those that affect children are mostly not preventable. However, survival and quality of life for children with cancer can be improved by strengthening health systems for timely and quality diagnosis and treatment [...]

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