The Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia was founded 1946 by the Mexican Government. In 1980 it moved to its current location. Thirty-four years later a new large hospital building was inaugurated to become the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Mexico, it is a tertiary and quaternary referral centre. The institute is a national reference in cancer treatment and contributes to public policy creation. The center conducts basic, translational and clinical research and has an important role in the training of oncologist from across the country and the Latin America region. Annually, 12 000 new patients are admitted and more than 100 000 consultations are carried out.
The hospital has 150 beds, with over 80% occupation around the year. Facilities include: medical, surgical, and hematology isolated rooms. The ambulatory chemotherapy department provides more than 20 000 treatments per year, radiation oncology, mammography and radiology centres, and procedures rooms. The outpatient clinics provide specialised consultation in surgical, medical, gynaecological oncology. As a National Institute of Health, the centre works in conjunction with researchers from the principal universities of the country.
The Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia has specialised medical oncology, haematology, surgical and radiation oncology teams for the treatment of: breast, CNS, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, gynaecological, head and neck, lung, melanoma and skin, sarcoma, germinal tumors, leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. In addition, a number of specialised clinical services include: pain clinic, psychosocial oncology, palliative care programme, among others.
Supportive and Palliative Medicine
The Palliative Care Unit is a comprehensive clinical, educational and research programme. Created in 2010, it forms an important part of the care provided at the institution and has become a national reference in the area. The palliative care is operationalised through effective management of pain and other distressing symptoms, while incorporating psychosocial and spiritual care with consideration of patient/family needs, preferences, values and beliefs.
The services provided includes an inpatient consultation service for patients hospitalised, or ambulatory, either with active disease modifying treatment, or who are no longer candidates for oncological treatment.
Palliative care-trained physicians, psychologists, nurses and social workers provide support to patients and their families including consultative services for hospitalised and ambulatory patients. Home visits are available in selected areas of the city. Active teaching, and clinical research are also important activities of the team.