The African Organization for Research and training in Cancer (AORTIC) bases the following position statements on a critical appraisal of the state on cancer research and cancer care in Africa including information on the availability of data on cancer burden, screening and prevention for cancer in Africa, cancer care personnel, treatment modalities, and access to cancer care.
African Cancer Burden Infections and cancer in Africa Diagnosis of cancer Access to healthcare Cancer research
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. About half of the annual incident cancer cases occur in the developing world. There were an estimated 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million cancer related deaths in 2012 . Of these, there were 715,000 incident cancer cases and 542,000 deaths in Africa, with increasing incidence of breast and prostate cancers. The incidence of cancer is therefore increasing worldwide and the continuing global demographic and epidemiologic transitions signal an ever-increasing cancer burden over the next decades, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Africa is expected to carry a major cancer burden by year 2030 . Incidence rates of 1.27 million with 0.97 million deaths are estimated in 2030 for Africa.
Cancer in Africa has many unique features. As shown in Table 1, the leading cancers in Africa include many of those that are common around the world, but also include cancers that are less common in high-income countries and reflect patterns of cancer more commonly seen in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). In addition, the distribution of cancer types varies substantially within Africa, and these differ compared to the cancer type distribution in other parts of the world, with a high proportion of infection related cancers in many areas in Africa . In men, prostate cancer is the leading cancer in most parts of Africa, similar to that in many other parts of the world. However, liver cancer is the leading cancer in large sections of West Africa, Kaposi Sarcoma is the leading cancer in Southeast Africa, and esophageal cancer is the leading cancer in Botswana. In addition, while breast cancer is the leading cancer in women in many parts of Africa, cervical cancers predominate in West Africa and parts of East and Central Africa . Kaposi’s sarcoma was the second largest contributor to the cancer burden in sub-Saharan Africa. The AFs for infection varied by country and development status—from less than 5% in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and some countries in western and northern Europe to more than 50% in some countries in sub-Saharan Africa .
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