Liga Nacional Contra el Cáncer was founded in 1952, is a nonprofit organization and it is the only comprenhesive cancer center in the country attending around 80,000 patients, with around 3,500 new cancer cases diagnosed every year.
Its three main areas of action:
- Diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients through their hospital, Instituto de Cancerología y Hospital "Dr. Bernardo del Valle S." (INCAN), starting in 1958;
- Registry of cancer cases through the National Cancer Registry since 1975; and
- Cancer Education and Prevention through PIENSA from 1996, creating campaigns of awareness and early detection of cancer.
The hospital has 120 inpatient beds and it offers outpatient and inpatients services, providing specialized attention in medical, surgical, gynecological and radiation oncology for the detection and treatment of cancer.
Its facilities include: the ambulatory chemotherapy department, radiation oncology, mammography, radiology, pathology, endoscopy, colposcopy, laboratory, blood bank, intensive care unit and operating rooms. In addition, there are specialized clinical services such as: internal medicine, nutrition, stomatology, urology and traumatology and physiotherapy.
Liga Nacional contra el Cáncer also supports the Faculty of Medical Sciences of University of San Carlos and since 2008, hosting the only Oncology Training Fellowships in the country, which include: Surgical Oncology, Gynecology Oncology, and Radiotherapy.
The hospital offers all specialities that are organized under different departments: Surgical oncology, gynaeco-oncology, radiation oncology, medical oncology and palliative care.
Palliative and supportive care
In 2005, at INCAN was funded the first Palliative Care Unit in Guatemala and currently, is one of the three units in the country providing this kind of attention to the population. The palliative care is operationalised through effective management of pain and other distressing symptoms, while incorporating psychosocial and spiritual care according to the patient and family needs.
The Palliative Care Unit counts with three attending doctors, three psychologists and provides spiritual support when needed. The services are offered to patients with active disease modifying treatment, or who are no longer candidates for oncological treatment. These services are provided in an outpatient clinic and an inpatient ward with four beds for their exclusive use in the hospital.
Active teaching is important part of the team and every year are receive between 6 and 10 residents from other institutions and four of our residents.