Diagnostic and treatment resources must be transferred from developed to developing nations

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Published: 1 Apr 2014
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Prof Peter Boyle - International Prevention Research Institute, Lyon, France

Prof Peter Boyle talks to ecancertv at the 9th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC) about the global disparaties of cancer resources.

Global cancer incidences continue to rise annually by 3% and Boyle highlights that, whilst there are twice as many cases diagnosed in the developed world, the number of cancer patients dying in the developing world is equal to that of the developed, with the number especially high in those aged below fifty.

Boyle notes the lack of diagnostic and treatment facilities in developing countries with particular reference to Africa, where in 30 countries there is no radiotherapy machine, nor is there an adequate provision of pain medication to help with quality of life, and cancer is only found by stages 3 or 4 when it is too late to be cured. Thus, Boyle argues that a transfer in both knowledge and equipment from developed countries to lesser developed countries must take place.

Additionally, Boyle comments upon the lack of data regarding cancer rates and demographics in developing countries vis-a-vis developed countries, but bemoans the use of randomized trials from Europe in the 60s and 70s which relied on methodologies which would be considered substandard today.