oa South African Medical Journal - Towards timely diagnosis of symptomatic breast and cervical cancer in South Africa - editorial

Volume 108 Number 10
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



The global cancer burden is projected to increase by 50% by 2030 and, disturbingly, most of the increase will occur in low- and middleincome countries.[1-4] Unique features of cancer in Africa are the disproportionately high burden of cancers in women (56%), the high proportion of infection-related cancers (30% of all cancers), and the late stage at which cancer is diagnosed (e.g. 46% of breast cancer in South Africa (SA) is diagnosed at an advanced stage).[3-7] Cancer stage is a measure of cancer growth and spread, with stage at presentation being an important prognostic factor. Earlier stage at presentation, enabling more opportunities for curative treatment and improved outcomes, is therefore an important goal in any comprehensive cancer care policy.

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