Women’s Cancers in Latin America and the Caribbean

PAHO Foundation Partners with IFPMA to Strengthen Women's Cancer Prevention and Control

The Issue

Cancer, the second leading cause of death in the Americas, was responsible for 8.2 million deaths in 2012 or 22 percent of deaths attributable to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Cancer is projected to cause 2.1 million fatalities between 2012 and 2030, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Based on World Health Organization (WHO) findings, breast and cervical cancers are among the most common cancers in women in the Americas and worldwide. Over the past 30 years, mortality rates for both have increased each year, 1.8 percent for breast cancer and 0.46 percent for cervical cancer. These premature deaths could have been prevented with access to cost-effective cancer screening, early diagnosis and treatment.

Partnership Goals

PAHO Foundation is proud to support PAHO’s work to reduce cancer incidence and mortality in the Americas through the partnership with the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA).

This collaboration aims to:

  • Bolster national breast and cervical cancer programs in at least two countries
  • Finalize and advance cancer registries in at least four countries

Areas of Focus

  • Women’s Cancers
    • Raise public awareness and empower women to seek breast and cervical cancer screening and detection
    • Improve existing cervical cancer screening programs
    • Develop healthcare provider capacities in early detection of breast cancer
  • Cancer Registries
    • Build capacity for cancer registration by training personnel on new cancer information and technologies
    • Improve the quality and effectiveness of regional cancer situation reports

PAHO Foundation's Trip to Peru

Peru's Health Clinic Director and two of its nurses

Dr. Farah Farhoumand, PAHO Foundation Trustee, and a health worker in Peru

PAHO Foundation's CEO and President, Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson, and members of the Board of Trustees recently visited Peru to learn about the country's cancer programs and to identify further opportunities for assistance. While there, our team visited primary health clinics, witnessed firsthand cancer screenings, and shared prevention messages with healthcare professionals and residents.

PAHO Foundation Board Chair Simone Acha (far left), President and CEO Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson (center), Susan G. Komen Foundation Director of International Programs Dr. Anna Cabanes (second to far right) and staff at INEN

Our team spent a morning at the National Cancer Institute of Peru (INEN) discussing the global cancer situation and initiatives that can be implemented within the region. Our trip, along with our IFPMA partnership, raises awareness around women’s cancers and empowers women across the Americas to seek screenings and other preventative cancer measures. We continually seek partnerships with other influencers committed to taking action against cancer and other non-communicable diseases within the region.

“Partnerships are the way forward when dealing with complex challenges such as those posed by NCDs. Working across sectors enables partners to generate health outcomes that are transformational, hence sustainable. We are delighted to join forces with PAHO Foundation to implement innovative strategies that help alleviate the NCD burden in low- and middle-income countries."

-- Eduardo Pisani, Director General of IFPMA