Breast cancer challenges in Africa: Role of Pan African Cancer Alliance

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Published: 1 Feb 2023
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Prof Hussein Maki - Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Sudan

Prof Hussein Maki discusses his talk on breast cancer challenges in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs), in particular in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Breast cancer incidence and mortality are rising in LMICs although high-quality data from LMICs are largely lacking. Prof Maki discusses the case fatality rates from breast cancer appear to be substantially higher in LMICs than in high-income countries.

He concludes by discussing the guidelines in LMICs

My talk in the 15th BGICC cancer conference 2023 was about breast cancer challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa. My position in the BGICC is as a representative and ambassador of the society in Sub-Saharan Africa and we would like to help the population in this zone as a global mission. Sub-Saharan Africa is a very wide geographical area, more than 52 countries, more than 1,000 languages, many different ethnicities and religions and a little bit of a high level of illiteracy if compared with globally. So all of these facts complicate it by the critical situation, by the high incidence of breast cancer with advanced stages, diagnosis of the patients in the advanced stages with a high mortality rate. Also cervical carcinoma has a very high mortality rate with the lack of primary services, primary healthcare services. Also the limitation of the resources and the directing of the resources with limited studies in this zone, scientific studies, and limited research in this area. Also, the conflicts, the wars, border wars and border conflicts between certain countries and certain areas; sometimes an unstable political situation complicates the cancer situation in this zone.

Our mission in the society is to help the zone, the African zone, by adding to the board all the interested personnel. This year we started the new African cancer gathering, the Pan African Cancer Alliance, a new group, a new organisation supervised by the BGICC – thank you very much our Egyptian colleagues, the President of the society, Professor Hesham El Ghazaly, and Dr Nermeen Mostafa for supporting the idea. 

Our main aim in this Pan African Cancer Alliance is to help Africa through different accesses. The first access is enhancing the professional networking between different professionals on different levels. Whatever is the consultant’s level, doctor’s level, primary healthcare workers, also all the voluntary levels or on the media level that will add value to the society and will reflect positively on the different communities. Another one is to enhance early detection activities by establishing the guidelines suitable for this zone in Sub-Saharan Africa. Also to enhance the scientific research.

Unfortunately, most of the research are retrospective research; we are looking for prospective studies that we can come with our own guidelines, which are suitable and can be used probably in the treatment for this health sector in this area. Very important that, to help the treatment capabilities. By enhancing the relationship between the different professionals, we can get the aim and the benefit and we can add value and energy and efforts to the different activities in the African continent. Also it will reflect positively in the treatment guidelines and services.