“In Uganda, as in other developing countries, women’s cancers represent a tremendous burden to society as a whole. The fabric of the family and the community are weakened significantly when women die young. Cancer education and screening are scarce, prevention strategies are rarely discussed, and diagnosis typically comes late […] Appropriate advocacy and education efforts increase awareness and pave the way for increased governmental attention and spending toward managing the ever-increasing burden of breast cancer in limited-resource countries.”
In limited-resource countries, cancer kills more people annually than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Programs targeting early detection and treatment of cancer are virtually non-existent due to insufficient funding and attention given to this emerging health challenge. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and is also the leading cause of cancer-related death in females. In developing countries such as Uganda, breast cancer incidence is increasing and typically presents at an advanced stage of disease, for which treatment options are limited. Inadequate knowledge and understanding of the disease, social stigma, and barriers to care all contribute to a poorer prognosis. There are many challenges to reducing breast cancer incidence and mortality globally; however, there is evidence to suggest that advocacy and education, in particular through the efforts of breast cancer survivors and their partners, can play a critical role in improving overall outcomes in limited-resource countries.