Breast cancer is a serious threat to the health of women globally and an unrecognized priority in middle-income countries. This paper presents data from Mexico. It shows that breast cancer accounts for more deaths than cervical cancer since 2006. It is the second cause of death among women aged 30 to 54 and affects all socioeconomic groups. Data on detection, although underreported, show 6000 new cases in 1990 and a projected increase to over 16500 per year by 2020. Further, the majority of cases are self-detected and only 10% of all cases are detected in stage I. Mexico's social security systems cover approximately 40 to 45% of the population and include breast cancer treatments. Since 2007 the rest of the population has had the right to breast cancer treatment through Seguro Popular. Despite these entitlements, services are lacking and interventions for early detection, particularly mammography, are very limited. As of 2006 only 22% of women aged 40 to 69 reported having a mammography in the past year. Barriers exist on both the demand and supply sides. Lobbying, education, awareness building and an articulated policy response will be important to ensure extended coverage, access to and acceptance of both treatment and early detection.
- Cervical cancer
- Health policy and programs
- Socioeconomic status
- breast cancer screening/detection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health