Meeting the emerging challenge of breast and cervical cancer in low- and middle-income countries
International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 08/20/2012
Knaul FM et al. – Numerous opportunities exist to strengthen health systems through sexual and reproductive and women and health platforms and better meet the challenge of cancer.
- Cancer, particularly when it affects women and reproductive health, epitomizes the complexities and inequities of the epidemiological challenge faced by low– and middle–income countries.
- Women in resource–poor settings face a double cancer burden: the backlog of preventable cancer, and the emerging challenge of cancers that cannot be prevented but whose impact could be dramatically reduced through early detection and treatment.
- Disparities in cancer incidence, mortality, and other health and non–health outcomes are exacerbated by gender inequity and compounded by discrimination and stigma.
- The combination of these barriers implies a multiplicative challenge for women who face cancer, particularly when the disease is associated with reproduction.
- The horizons of maternal and reproductive health should extend to include the life cycle of healthy changes and illness that are embodied in longer life for women.