Latest Research News on Cancer Burden: Jan 2021

Cancer burden in Africa and opportunities for prevention

Cancer is an emerging public health problem in Africa. About 715,000 new cancer cases and 542,000 cancer deaths occurred in 2008 on the continent, with these numbers expected to double in the next 20 years simply because of the aging and growth of the population. Furthermore, cancers such as lung, female breast, and prostate cancers are diagnosed at much higher frequencies than in the past because of changes in lifestyle factors and detection practices associated with urbanization and economic development. Breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men have now become the most commonly diagnosed cancers in many Sub‐Saharan African countries, replacing cervical and liver cancers. In most African countries, cancer control programs and the provision of early detection and treatment services are limited despite this increasing burden. This paper reviews the current patterns of cancer in Africa and the opportunities for reducing the burden through the application of resource level interventions, including implementation of vaccinations for liver and cervical cancers, tobacco control policies for smoking‐related cancers, and low‐tech early detection methods for cervical cancer, as well as pain relief at the palliative stage of cancer. [1]

Cancer statistics: updated cancer burden in China

Cancer is a major public health issue in most of countries, including China. Accurate and valid information on cancer incidence, mortality, survival and relevant factors is irreplaceable for cancer prevention and control. Since the national program of cancer registry was launched by the Ministry of Health of China in 2008, the National Central Cancer Registry (NCCR) has been releasing the cancer incidence and mortality based on the data collected from cancer registries supported by the program. The cancer statistics provide current data from registered areas and aims to accurately reflect the cancer burden and epidemic in China. In 2014, the NCCR collected data for calendar year 2011 from 234 registries. After comprehensive quality evaluation, data from 177 registries have been selected as sources of the reports reflecting cancer incidence and mortality in the registration areas in 2011. These reports are the updated cancer statistics so far, covering much more registries and a big population. [2]

The Global Breast Cancer Burden: Variations in Epidemiology and Survival

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer and the most common cause of cancer-related mortality among women worldwide. However, the burden is not evenly distributed, and, according to the best available data, there are large variations in the incidence, mortality, and survival between different countries and regions and within specific regions. Many complex factors underlie these variations, including population structure (eg, age, race, and ethnicity), lifestyle, environment, socioeconomic status, risk factor prevalence, mammography use, disease stage at diagnosis, and access to high-quality care. We review recent breast cancer incidence and mortality statistics and explore why these vary so greatly across the world. Further research is needed to fully understand the reasons for variations in breast cancer outcomes. This will aid the development of tailored strategies to improve outcomes in general as well as the standard of care for underserved populations and reduce the burden of breast cancer worldwide. [3]

Symptoms Burden, Quality of Life and Its Determinant Factors in Advanced Lung Cancer Patients

Aims: To assess in advanced lung cancer patients’, reported symptoms burden, their QOL, and to identify determinant factors associated with their QOL in 2 healthcare departments.

Study Design: A cross sectional study.

Place and Duration of the Study: The study was carried out during 03 months from February 1st to 30 April 2016 in the Pneumology department and an oncology unit from 2 different University Hospitals in Tunisia.

Methodolgy: We recruited 60 patients with advanced lung cancer by convenience sampling.             QOL was assessed by the SF-36 questionnaire and Symptom’s burden by Lung Cancer           Symptom Scale (LCSS).

Results: The mean LCSS score was 43.07 (SD, 21.45). Loss of appetite and fatigue were rated as the most severe symptoms. The mean overall score of SF36 was 39.3 (SD, 15.4). The physical and emotional limitations had the lowest scores.

Unemployment (p<0.014), smoking cessation after diagnosis (p<0.013), consumption of analgesic (p<0.002) and the indication of an analgesic radiotherapy (p<0.001) were revealed as independent determinants of QOL.

Conclusion: A built in support of lung cancer patients would better control the symptoms and promote their QOL. [4]

The Spectrum of Breast Diseases in Nigeria North Central: A Histopathological Survey

Breast diseases to most patients are sources of uncertainty and apprehension. The diseases of the breast are a heterogeneous group of lesions consisting of both benign and malignant. This study from North Central Nigeria is aimed at examining these diverse lesions. 249 breast biopsies with histopathological diagnosis seen at Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi, Nigeria between October, 2012 and January 2017 were examined. The cases were retrieved from the data base of the histopathology department with the patients request forms. The patient’s bio data was extracted from the request form including age, sex and histopathological diagnosis. The 249 breast biopsies with diagnosis accounted for 8.1% of all tissue specimens diagnosed within the study period. 244 cases were females and 5 cases were males. The breast lesions are seen from second decades of life. Benign Breast Diseases (BBDs) accounted for 54% of cases while malignant breast diseases (MBDs) accounted for the remaining 46%. The commonest BBD is fibroadenoma accounting for 54.1% of all BBDs. The commonest histological type of breast cancer is invasive ductal carcinoma (88.6%). The incidence of breast diseases especially malignancy is on the increase in our environment with most patients presenting at advanced stages of the disease. There is a need to increase advocacy with screening of patients at increased risk in order to get the patient at an early stage that will help improve prognosis. [5]


[1] Jemal, A., Bray, F., Forman, D., O’Brien, M., Ferlay, J., Center, M. and Parkin, D.M., 2012. Cancer burden in Africa and opportunities for prevention. Cancer, 118(18), pp.4372-4384.

[2] Chen, W., 2015. Cancer statistics: updated cancer burden in China. Chinese Journal of Cancer Research, 27(1), p.1.

[3] Hortobagyi, G.N., de la Garza Salazar, J., Pritchard, K., Amadori, D., Haidinger, R., Hudis, C.A., Khaled, H., Liu, M.C., Martin, M., Namer, M. and O’Shaughnessy, J.A., 2005. The global breast cancer burden: variations in epidemiology and survival. Clinical breast cancer, 6(5), pp.391-401.

[4] Ammar, A., Dhahri, M., Bougmiza, I., Chafai, R., Ezzairi, F., Njah, M. and Bouafia, N. (2017) “Symptoms Burden, Quality of Life and Its Determinant Factors in Advanced Lung Cancer Patients”, Journal of Cancer and Tumor International, 6(1), pp. 1-10. doi: 10.9734/JCTI/2017/35636.

[5] A. Eke, B., A. Ojo, B., D. Akaa, P., N. Ahachi, C., Soo, C. and Adekwu, A. (2017) “The Spectrum of Breast Diseases in Nigeria North Central: A Histopathological Survey”, Journal of Advances in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 13(3), pp. 1-6. doi: 10.9734/JAMPS/2017/32384.

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