Breast cancer management in low resource countries (LRCs): consensus statement from the Breast Health Global Initiative.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland), Volume 20 Suppl 2, p.S3-11 (2011)

Keywords:

2011, Breast Neoplasms, Developing Countries, Early Detection of Cancer, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Health Plan Implementation, Health Services Accessibility, Humans, Patient Education as Topic, Public Health Sciences Division

Abstract:

The Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) brought together international breast cancer experts to discuss breast cancer in low resource countries (LRCs) and identify common concerns reviewed in this consensus statement. There continues to be a lack of public and health care professionals' awareness of the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Mastectomy continues to be the most common treatment for breast cancer; and a lack of surgeons and anesthesia services was identified as a contributing factor in delayed surgical therapy in LRCs. Where available, radiation therapy is still more likely to be used for palliation rather than for curative treatment. Tumor receptor status is often suboptimally performed due to lack of advanced pathology services and variable quality control of tissue handling and processing. Regional pathology services can be a cost-effective approach and can serve as reference, training and research centers. Limited availability of medical oncologists in LRCs often results in non-specialist providing chemotherapeutic services, which requires additional supervision and training. Palliative care is an emerging field in LRCs that requires investment in training and infrastructure development. A commitment and investment in the development of breast cancer care services by LRC governments and health authorities remains a critical need in LRCs.