One study suggests that this may be due to the relationship between mortality from colon cancer and the socioeconomic situation in each country. This is how this disease behaves in Latin America .
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Mortality from colon cancer in Latin America has increased by 20.5% between 1990 and 2019, according to a study released this Tuesday by the Brazilian scientific research center Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz).
The results of the study, carried out by Fiocruz, the National Cancer Institute of Brazil and the University of California San Diego, warn of an upward trend in most Latin American countries, in contrast to the global trend.
Why has it increased in Latin America?
The researchers verified that "there is a relationship" between the mortality rate from colon cancer and the socioeconomic development of each country, according to Fiocruz.
In this context, Latin American countries with a low Human Development Index (HDI) register lower mortality from the disease, but mainly due to greater underdiagnosis and lower exposure to risk factors, such as "the consumption of ultra-processed foods." and red meat."
On the other hand, countries with a medium level of development, such as Brazil, make a "late" diagnosis and have difficulties in applying treatment at the right time, which reduces the chances of a cure.
These nations also have a greater exposure to the aforementioned risk factors.
On the contrary, more developed countries do have a more efficient diagnostic network and their populations have healthier eating behaviors.
In this sense, the increase in mortality from colon cancer in the region, which is the most unequal on the planet, occurred heterogeneously , according to the report, published in the scientific journal "Plos One."
"It is interesting to note that the inequality between countries is so marked that some, such as Uruguay and Argentina, are moving towards a decrease in mortality. And despite having a high consumption of red meat, they manage to diagnose and treat it in time," explained Raphael Guimarães, one of the authors of the study.
However, in Central American countries the dietary factor has less impact, but there are high rates of "underdiagnosis and little access to treatment," he added.
The researchers recommend the development of studies that deeply analyze the socioeconomic context of each country in particular to evaluate the impact of the disease and be able to provide sufficient health care to reduce mortality.