Cancer is an increasing public health problem in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In Sub-Saharan Africa:
- There is disproportionately high burden of cancers in women
- There is a high proportion of infection-related cancers
- Cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage when the cancer is large or has spread.
Breast and cervical cancer are the most common cancers among women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most women present with late stage disease. Measuring factors influencing time to presentation (the time from noticing a symptom to the first consultation with a healthcare professional) is important in developing and evaluating interventions to promote timely cancer diagnosis. However, there is a lack of validated, culturally relevant measurement tools.
The AWACAN research team has developed and validated culturally relevant cancer awareness measurement tools to contribute to the development and evaluation of interventions to promote timely diagnosis of cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa. These interventions may include leaflets for women and training for primary healthcare workers.
Read more about the challenge of timely cancer diagnosis in Africa: Moodley J, Walter FM, Scott SE. Makwa AM. Toward timely diagnosis of symptomatic breast and cervical cancer in South Africa. S Afr Med J 2018;108(10):803-804. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2018.v108i10.13478