A range of different organizations providing cancer education and support in Mexico, Argentina, and Spain were reviewed. The details of some key organizations in each country are set out below. The services and type of educational information provided by these organizations were compared to US organizations. An initial analysis suggests there are significantly more organizations in the US offering these types of services. The educational material of US organizations takes a more holistic approach, and there is a greater focus on the patient's family and caregivers. In contrast, Spanish organizations are more orientated toward the patient.
- The Fundacion Rebecca de Albahas has a focus toward childhood cancers. They offer a combination of services, including education, information, and support to help the children and their families to have a better quality of life. The organization runs a range of early detection campaigns, and they have an advocacy role in Mexico.
- The Asociación Mexicana de Lucha Contra el Cáncer offers information on a range of different cancers as well as a selection of news articles detailing developments in cancer prevention and treatment from around the world. On their website, they advocate for a tobacco tax to reduce smoking related cancers. The organization also provides support to those people of limited financial means. Some screening is completed by this organization.
- Sociedad Mexicana de Oncología offers a range of educational resources that are orientated toward the professional audience. The resources range from genetic information to articles on clinical practice. The website also provides access to a Gazette which has articles and research on all aspects of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Again the focus is on the professionals in the field. The website allows interested parties to enroll in a range of conferences and workshops. There is little information on the website that is focused on the patients.
- Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer is a private, non-profit organization that has four primary functions. The functions are providing information and increasing awareness, support for cancer patients, research, and advocacy. It is a nationwide organization with 52 provincial centers and around 2,000 local centers. The educational material on the website is limited, but more material is available at the provincial centers. They offer a range of supportive services through a network of volunteers. Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer is working on a global level.
- The Fundación Josep Carreras contra la Leucemia is a global organization that is focused on Leukemia. The educational treatment information they provide is primarily orientated toward bone marrow treatment and donation. They help facilitate bone marrow donations in Spain. The website also contains a comprehensive range of educational resources for patients with Leukemia.
- ACIAPO was established in 1997 and aims to improve the quality of life for patients with cancer and their families. Initially, it was orientated toward those with limited financial resources, although it has evolved to become a resource and source of support for all demographics. The resources that are provided by ACIAPO focus on the prevention and communication of cancer, early detection, and treatment.
- El Instituto Nacional del Cáncer de la Argentina offers a range of resources for both professionals and the general public. For professionals, there are articles that discuss the latest research and developments in oncology as well as a range of virtual online courses (for example, genetic counseling, oncological pathology, and breast evaluation), information on rotations in oncology, and details regarding various programs. A range of news articles are available that highlight developments that are specific to the Argentinian population. For the public, the resources relate primarily to the incidence of cancer and prevention programs.
- The Asociación Leucemia Mieloide de Argentina focuses on leukemia, and it fulfills a largely educational role for cancer patients. They have a holistic approach with the resources focusing on not only the patient but their families also. They provide a range of tools for families to assist in coping with the emotions associated with cancer. The information provided primarily relates to the different types of leukemia, its treatment, and its progression.
- The Institutio of Oncologico Henry Moore provides educational resources about cancer, treatments, symptoms, screening, and chemotherapy online. Several links to (predominantly US) websites containing an extensive amount of patient and caregiver information are also provided. The linked sites are all in English.
- Linfomas Argentina focuses on lymphoma. The services and resources offered by the organization are similar to those offered by American cancer groups. As well as a range of educational resources specific to lymphoma, the organization offers informative talks, support meetings, and advice and guidance to patients who have been diagnosed with lymphoma.
Comparison with the US
- Of the three countries, Spain had the widest range of organizations that dealt directly with cancer patients and their families. Most of the organizations in Mexico and Argentina had a focus on education, while the organizations in Spain are seemingly more diverse, offering a more extensive range of supportive services.
- The services provided by several organizations in Spain are comparable to those offered in the US. The number of organizations providing the services is the primary difference, with the US having significantly more organizations on both a national and state level.
- While several of the organizations in Argentina and Mexico talk of support service, there is little information available that suggests the organizations are providing support in a manner that is comparable to US organizations of a similar nature. The support in Mexico and Argentina is orientated around education.
- The basic educational resources around cancer types, screening, and treatment provided by the Spanish, Mexican, and Argentinian organizations are all comparable to that offered by similar organizations in the US. Where the resources in the US become superior is in relation to the peripheral issues such as diet, financial impact, and assisting families to provide appropriate support. The US resources are orientated towards both the patient and their families while the Spanish organizations in most instances tend to focus on providing facts about the disease and treatments to the patient.
- Education aside, only a couple of organizations in Spain and one in Argentina offered physical support in the community similar to that which is provided in the US. The US organizations have a more holistic approach, attempting to assist the patient, their families, and caregivers, while the Spanish organizations are more orientated toward the patient.
- Perhaps the most noticeable difference between the Spanish and US organizations is support groups do not seem to have a role to play in the Spanish organizations. In contrast, the majority of US organizations offer these groups. This maybe can be explained by the different cultures and their preferences.
We reviewed a range of different organizations in each of the three identified countries and determined the resources and services provided by each. The details of some larger organizations are included as representations of the organizations in each of the three countries. Once we had an overview of the type and nature of the organizations in Argentina, Mexico, and Spain, we compared them to similar organizations in the US, which enabled us to draw some broad conclusions.