Scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and partners across five African countries have published a new study suggesting that at least one third of the 416 000 deaths from breast cancer that are projected to occur in sub-Saharan Africa during the next decade could be prevented. The paper was published in The Lancet Global Health.
The study is the culmination of many years of work following up more than 2000 women who were newly diagnosed with breast cancer in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa, as part of the African Breast Cancer – Disparities in Outcomes (ABC-DO) cohort study. Alarmingly, half of these women have already died 3 years after diagnosis.
The low breast cancer survival in the region, and strategies to improve survival – including achieving earlier diagnosis and improving access to therapy – need to be highlighted. Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in women in sub-Saharan Africa, but large variations in survival within and between countries in the region demonstrate that improvements in survival are possible.
The ABC-DO cohort study was generously supported by Susan G. Komen, with additional funds provided by IARC.
McCormack V, McKenzie F, Foerster M, Zietsman A, Galukande M, Adisa C, et al.
Breast cancer survival and survival gap apportionment in sub-Saharan Africa (ABC-DO): a prospective cohort study
Lancet Glob Health, Published online 19 August 2020;