Implementation of breast health guidelines for developing countries published

Oct 06, 2008

A special supplement of the Oct. 15 journal [i]Cancer[/i] for the first time details guidelines for low- and middle-income countries to implement breast cancer programs to detect and treat the most common disease among women worldwide.

"Guidelines for International Breast Health and Cancer Control – Implementation" developed by the Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) outlines a tiered system of resource allocation - based on countries' overall economic status and availability of resources – toward early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and developing an overall breast health program. Other papers contained in the supplement outline how countries implement programs in breast pathology, radiation treatment, surgery and treatment of locally-advanced cancer.

"The breast health guidelines for implementation will be an essential medical reference for low- and middle-income countries to improve breast health outcomes," said Benjamin O. Anderson, M.D., founder, chair and director of the Seattle-based BHGI organization BHGI, an alliance comprised of a strategic mix of internationally-focused health care organizations, was founded by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

"The BHGI guidelines are intended to assist ministers of health, policymakers, administrators and institutions in prioritizing resource allocation as breast cancer treatment programs are implemented and developed in their resource-constrained countries," the authors note in their overview of the 172-page supplement. The 16 articles by 56 authors from around the world are the culmination of work begun in 2002 when the first of three global summits on breast health took place.

"The development and implementation of these international evidence-based breast health care guidelines, which are oriented to countries or regions of the world with limited financial resources, is a crucial step toward improving breast health care and breast cancer care in these regions," said Anderson. "Current evidence about the value of earlier detection and cost-effective diagnosis and treatment can be applied to define best practices with limited resources for breast health care. While health care strategies may differ, measurable improvement in breast cancer outcomes can be achieved using the best standard of care that is practical in a given setting."

Why breast cancer and why low- to middle-income countries? Breast cancer comprises 23% of all female cancers. It's also the leading cause of cancer mortality. There is a marked geographical variation in case fatality rates, which are highest in developing countries and lowest in developed ones. Further, women in poor- and middle-income nations generally are diagnosed when their cancer has progressed due to lack of resources to detect cancer earlier, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality.

Source: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Explore further: Breast cancer is not one disease, experts say

Related Stories

A single-cell breakthrough

Mar 18, 2015

The human gut is a remarkable thing. Every week the intestines regenerate a new lining, sloughing off the equivalent surface area of a studio apartment and refurbishing it with new cells. For decades, researchers ...

Potential new breathalyzer for lung cancer screening

Feb 18, 2015

Researchers from Chongqing University in China have developed a high sensitive fluorescence-based sensor device that can rapidly identify cancer related volatile organic compounds—biomarkers found exclusively in the exhaled ...

3-D printers to make human body parts? It's happening

Feb 04, 2015

It sounds like something from a science fiction plot: So-called three-dimensional printers are being used to fashion prosthetic arms and hands, jaw bones, spinal-cord implants - and one day perhaps even living human body ...

Recommended for you

Breast cancer is not one disease, experts say

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Breast cancer isn't the same for every woman, even at the cellular level, according to a new statement from four major medical groups focused on the disease.

Teens with breast lumps may be able to avoid invasive biopsy

9 hours ago

If a lump is found in the breast of an adolescent girl, she often will undergo an excisional biopsy. However, breast cancer is rare in adolescents, and the vast majority of teenage breast lumps turn out to be benign masses ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.