Cancer in Africa | American Cancer Society
“The occurrence of cancer in Africa varies remarkably from that in economically developed countries […] This is largely due to differences in exposures to major risk factors, detection practices (availability of diagnostic and screening services), awareness of early signs and symptoms, and availability of treatment.”
Cancer is an emerging public health problem in Africa. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), about 715,000 new cancer cases and 542,000 cancer deaths occurred in 2008 in Africa. These numbers are projected to nearly double (1.28 million new cancer cases and 970,000 cancer deaths) by 2030 simply due to the aging and growth of the population, with the potential to be even higher because of the adoption of behaviors and lifestyles associated with economic development, such as smoking, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity.
Despite this growing burden, cancer continues to receive low public health priority in Africa, largely because of limited resources and other pressing public health problems, including communicable diseases such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, malaria, and tuberculosis (Table 1). It may also be in part due to a lack of awareness about the magnitude of the current and future cancer burden among policy makers, the general public, and international private or public health agencies. This report summarizes available information on cancer occurrence, risk factors, screening, and treatment in Africa in order to raise cancer awareness and promote cancer prevention and control in the region. It is intended for use by community leaders, private and public health agencies, cancer control advocates, and donors who are interested in cancer prevention and control in Africa.
This report was published using GLOBOCAN 2008 data, in collaboration with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Cancer in Africa 2012
In 2014, investigators from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), American Cancer Society, African Cancer Registry Network, and University of Oxford published another review of incidence and mortality of cancer in Africa, using updated GLOBOCAN 2012 data.
This peer-reviewed article, authored by D. Maxwell Parkin, Freddie Bray, Jacques Ferlay, and Ahmedin Jamal, is available in the June 2014 edition of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
This peer-reviewed article is not available free of charge.