182553 Cervical Cancer: A Paradigm To Understanding the Global Burden Of Disparities in Cancer Care

Monday, October 27, 2008

Joyce Wu, Pharm D , Master's Program in Global Public Health, New York University, Woodside, NY
Amanda Amodio, MSW , New York University, Yonkers, NY
Lalitha V. Ramanathapuram, PhD , Master's Program in Global Public Health, New York University, New York, NY
Upal Basu Roy, PhD , Master's Program in Global Public Health, New York University, New York, NY
The incidence of cancer is higher in developed countries, but mortality is higher in developing nations. Cancer causes more deaths than HIV, TB and Malaria combined and is a low public health priority. Access to early detection and advanced diagnostic modalities has lead to a decline in mortality in developed, but not in developing countries. The most curable or clinically controllable cancers comprise those of the highest prevalence. Cervical cancer can be seen as a paradigm to understanding the global burden of disparities in access to cancer care. It is the largest single cause of years of life lost to cancer in the developing world. Cervical cancer is a preventable disease and any woman with invasive cervical cancer should be viewed as a failure of screening. Socioeconomic, psychosocial, and cultural factors are shown to be contributing barriers to access and treatment.

HPV has been implicated in some diagnosed cases of cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine can be foreseen as a means of prevention in resource-limited settings. Factors contributing to higher incidence of late stage cervical cancer diagnosis are due largely to lack of access to screening methods such as routine PAP smears. Proposed public health policy initiatives include investing in cancer and creating national control plans to improve the economic health of underserved regions. These comprehensive policies will include early detection, treatment, and the inclusion of palliative care and survivorship.

Learning Objectives:
1) The nature and severity of the growing burden of cancer in developing nations. 2) How social and economic factors influence barriers in access to treatment affecting global populations. 3) How the creation and execution of culturally-sensitive policies will affect global cancer outcomes.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have no conflicts of interests.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.