Breast Cancer in Developing Countries Opportunities for Improved Survival
Shulman LN, Willet W, Sievers A, Knaul FM. Breast cancer in Developing Countries: Opportunities for Improved Survival. Journal of Oncology. Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 595167, 6 pages. doi:10.1155/2010/595167
6 Pages Posted: 9 May 2012
Date Written: 2010
Breast cancer is a leading cause of death and disability among women, especially young women, in low- and middle-income countries. Though incidence and overall mortality rates continue to be lower than in most highincome countries, case fatality rates from breast cancer are very high. These high case fatality rates are likely due to a lack of awareness of the benefits of detection and treatment and a scarcity of adequate facilities for detection and diagnosis, as well as poor access to primary treatment. Remarkable improvements have been achieved in the probability of survival for women diagnosed with breast cancer in the USA as compared to 60 years ago. Early detection through the use of mammography, high-quality surgery, and adjuvant therapies including chemotherapy and targeted therapies, such as hormonal therapy and, more recently the HER2-directed agent trastuzumab, can be credited for much of the recent improvement in outcome for women with breast cancer in the USA. However, even prior to the routine use ofmammography or adjuvant therapy, significant improvements were made in breast cancer survival, and these can be traced to relatively low-cost interventions that are still in use in high-income countries. Understanding which healthcare interventions were available and how they resulted in improvements in the probability of survival could be important, especially for designing programs in resourceconstrained settings where breast cancer case fatality is high and many of the most costly and technology-intensive diagnostic and therapeutic options are not available.
Keywords: Breast Cancer in Developing Countries, Breast Cancer in Low- and middle Income countries, Improved Breast Cancer Survival
JEL Classification: I18
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