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What We’re Reading – The Burden of Cancer in Africa

October 16, 2013 by Matt Crommett

This New York Times article about cervical and breast cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa paints a bleak – and sadly, accurate – picture of what it’s like to battle disease in developing countries.  This particular story focuses on Ugandan women and the stigma of being diagnosed with breast cancer, the frustration due to delays in access to care and an overall lack of awareness regarding disease prevention and treatment. 

 HIV/AIDS and Malaria initiatives – including PEPFAR and PMI – have contributed to a decline in infectious diseases, while cancer cases are on the rise:

“Cancer has long been neglected in developing countries, overshadowed by the struggle against more acute threats like malaria and AIDS. But as nations across the continent have made remarkable progress against infectious diseases once thought too daunting to tackle, more people are living long enough to develop cancer, and the disease is coming to the forefront.”

Cervical and breast cancer are the two leading causes of cancer death among women in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.  Through the Bush Institute’s Global Health Initiative, we’re building on existing healthcare platforms in Africa to combat women’s cancers.  Our flagship global health program is Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, a public-private partnership to save women in the developing world from cervical and breast cancer.  With the help of our partners we aim to increase awareness, support screening and treatment programs and ultimately reduce the number of deaths related to women’s cancers in developing countries.

Read the full New York Times article here:  Uganda Fights Stigma and Poverty to Take On Breast Cancer 

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