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Help Control and Prevent Cancer Act in El Salvador

On December 3rd, 2020, was presented to the Legislative Plenary, highlighting the article 66 of the Constitution of the Republic that states: “The State shall provide free assistance to patients who lack resources, and to the inhabitants in general where treatment constitutes an effective means of preventing the spread of a communicable disease, in which case every person is obliged to undergo such treatment”.

Making reference to the disease of cancer, every year there are 185 new cases of some type of cancer per 100,000 inhabitants, 34 new cases per day, or three new cases every two hours, this makes an average of 12,500 to 13,500 new patients a year, this being one of the main causes of death in the country.

As a result of this situation, El Salvador recognizes the “Special Law for Cancer Prevention, Control and Care”, adopted by the Legislative Assembly on March 25th, 2021, whose objective  is to establish a regulatory and operational framework for the planning, development and implementation of public policies, programs and actions aimed to establishing the causes and preventing the increase in the incidence of cancer and promoting its prevention, early detection and appropriate treatment, declaring the fight against cancer in any of its manifestations, forms or denominations, and the appropriate comprehensive treatment and recovery of the person diagnosed with the disease of national interest.

With this regulation a National Cancer Registry will be built to learn about the incidence of the disease in the country and, according to specialists in the area, thanks to improvements in capacity in terms of infrastructure, equipment and technology for actions for the treatment of cancer, such as radiation therapy, CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging, oncology nuclear medicine technology, new technologies and medicines suitable for each case,  could save up to 50% of those affected by cancer.

Fermina Bolaños Meardi
Senior Associate
García & Bodán
El Salvador