Screening, case finding or primary cancer prevention in the developing world?
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On account of increasingly successful control of infectious diseases and improvements in both maternal and perinatal mortality, the relative contribution of cancer to the global burden of disease is growing. The 2008 World Cancer Report predicts that the annual number of cancer deaths in the world will have increased by 70–124 % until the year 2030 . Because relative changes in longevity, a key driver of the total cancer burden, will likely be largest in the developing world, this dramatic increase will disproportionately affect low income countries. Unavoidably, the result will be added stress on healthcare systems that are facing the heavy burden of communicable diseases.
With this gloomy picture in mind, it is perhaps understandable that implementation of cancer screening programs are sometimes proposed to stem this devastating tide [2, 3, 4]. However, aside from cervical cancer screening, the two arguably most widespread screening techniques, mammography and...
KeywordsCancer Screening Primary prevention Case finding Breast cancer Prostate cancer Cervical cancer Colorectal cancer
We thank Dr Michelle Holmes at Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, and Dr Jacob Holmqvist, at Karlstad Central Hospital, Karlstad, Sweden for their comments on an earlier draft of this report. No specific funding was acquired, but Dr Gustaf Edgren is supported by a postdoctoral grant from Svenska Sällskapet för Medicinsk Forskning (SSMF).
Conflict of interest
We declare we have no relevant conflicts of interest.
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