E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

The predicted increase in cancer cases in Africa by the year 2050: Positive or negative news? (#938)

Webster Kadzatsa 1 , Ntokozo Ndlovu 1 , Eric Chokunonga 2
  1. College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
  2. Zimbabwe Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health, Harare , Zimbabwe

Background:  Sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to bear the highest burden of cancer care in the forthcoming decades and is expected by 2050 to account for up to 70% of the newly diagnosed cancers.The reasons for the increase cited by most researchers include the change of lifestyle, the effect of infectious agents, increased use of tobacco and population growth. However the impact of economic growth in Africa has not been properly characterised 

Aim: To determine the effect of the state of the economy on the number of cancer cases diagnosed in a developing country 

Methods: We did an analysis of the economic indicators (GDP, inflation and employment figures) and Zimbabwe Cancer Registry Annual Reports from 1998 to 2010. We also conducted a literature review of economic factors affecting cancer incidence rates in the developed world

Results: The peak number of cancer cases diagnosed in Zimbabwe was in 1999 when 7443 new cases were registered.2 This number dropped by over 50% during the economic decline of Zimbabwe in 2008.In the USA during the economic recession between 1973 and 2007 the cancer incidence rates were also noted to decline4. An American study has also shown that patients who travel longer to a diagnostic Centre were more likely to present with advanced cancer stage.5 

Conclusions: The general growth in African economies that is forecast over the next decade6 could mean an improvement in health service delivery systems in Africa, a decrease in the brain drain, an increase in the number of patients that can afford health care services and an increase in the ability of health systems to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. The cancer epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa is probably now, but could be documented better by 2050. The increase in cancer incidence rate predicted could be a positive message