Challenges of Cancer Control in Developing Countries

Current Status and Future Perspective

Vanita Sharma; Stewart H Kerr; Zsana Kawar; David J Kerr

Disclosures

Future Oncol. 2011;7(10):1213-1222. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Cancer is a global problem accounting for almost 13% of all deaths worldwide. This equates to over 7 million people a year, more than is caused by HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria combined. Now is the time to strengthen the health systems of developing countries to deal with cancer, to avoid a future crisis similar to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In this article we discuss the current state of cancer in the developing world, how we need to advocate for a change in cancer control policy with the governments of developing nations/transnational governmental bodies (e.g., the UN and WHO etc) and how we think cancer care could be improved in developing countries. We feel the only way to overcome the growing burden of cancer in the developing world is working in partnership with, nongovernmental organizations, international nongovernmental organizations, transnational governmental bodies and governmental bodies.

Introduction

Cancer is a global problem accounting for almost 13% of all deaths worldwide.[101] This equates to over 7 million people a year,[101] more than the amount of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria combined.[102] Although the world is rightly focused on controlling the spread of these infectious diseases, we are ignoring the growing burden of cancer in developing countries. By 2020 it is estimated that there will be 17 million new cases of cancer every year, 60% of which will be in developing countries[1] where governments are least prepared to address the growing cancer burden and where survival rates are often less than half those of more developed countries.[2] Now is the time to strengthen the health systems of developing countries to deal with cancer, to avoid a future crisis similar to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This article provides an overview of the key challenges of cancer control in developing countries and explores how these can be addressed in the future.

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