Salud Pública de México

Access to lung cancer therapy in the Mexican population: Opportunities for reducing inequity within the health system

Raquel Gerson, Zyanya Lucía Zatarain-Barrón, Carolina Blanco, Oscar Arrieta


Lung cancer is a major public health problem, yet the disease is highly stigmatized, which impairs the optimal treatment of these patients. Globally, as well as locally in Mexico, lung cancer is the main cause of cancer-related deaths. Despite this, it is the only one among the five deadliest cancers which is not covered by Popular Health Insurance. Lung cancer treatment is a complex algorithm which requires fully trained personnel to assess each patient in order to determine standard-of-care therapy based on several factors associated with the molecu­lar profile of the tumor, patient characteristics and financial possibilities. In the recent decade, several breakthrough therapies have been launched, shifting the outlook for cer­tain patient subgroups. None of these novel therapies are currently available to patients who have public-based health insurance. In this paper, we review the inequities present in the Mexican health system and highlight the importance of addressing these opportunities.

Palabras clave

Inequity; lung cancer; survival

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Salud Pública de México es una publicación periódica electrónica, bimestral, publicada por el Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (con domicilio en Avenida Universidad núm. 655, col. Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, C.P. 62100, teléfono 329-3000, página web,, con ISSN: 1606-7916 y Reserva de Derechos al Uso Exclusivo con número: 04-2012-071614550600-203, ambos otorgados por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor. Editor responsable: Carlos Oropeza Abúndez. Responsable de la versión electrónica: Subdirección de Comunicación Científica y Publicaciones, Avenida Universidad núm. 655, planta baja, col. Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, C.P. 62100, teléfono 329 3000. Fecha de última modificación: 11 de abril de 2019. D.R. © por el sitio: Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública.

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