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Revista Colombiana de Cancerología

Print version ISSN 0123-9015


ALARCON, Blanca et al. Cancer prevalence in a health insurance organization in Colombia, 2013. rev.colomb.cancerol. [online]. 2015, vol.19, n.4, pp.210-221. ISSN 0123-9015.

Introduction: Cancer is one of the leading causes of non-violent death in the world. An estimated eleven million new cases occur worldwide every year, of which 80% occurred in developing countries. Objective: To determine the prevalence of cancer in a population affiliated to a health care insurance organization in Colombia. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on a cohort of 11,500 patients with cancer affiliated to a health care organization. The patients were identified from the information systems of the company, during the years 2010-2013. Data were analysed using frequencies, rates, and prevalence ratio. Results: The overall prevalence of cancer was 543 per 100,000 members. The largest proportion of cases (67%) occurred in patients older than 50 years. The cities with the highest prevalence were Manizales, Cali, Pereira and Neiva. The most prevalent cancer types were breast, other solid tumours, prostate, skin, and thyroid. The prevalence of childhood cancer was 65 per 100,000 members under 18 years. Acute lymphoid leukaemia, malignant brain tumours, and lymphomas were the most common malignancies in children. Conclusions: This is the first study of the prevalence of cancer in an insured population in Colombia, becoming a tool for planning services, provide screening strategies, auditing and evaluation of results in the context of health insurance and risk management.

Keywords : Neoplasms; Prevalence; Health insurance; Risk management; Epidemiology; Observational study.

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