Sub-Saharan Africa: Cancer burden is expected to nearly double over the next 20 years

“The disease is among the top three leading causes of premature death (i.e. between the ages of 30 and 69) in nearly all constituent countries and is responsible for one in seven premature deaths globally and one in four deaths for noncommunicable diseases, IARC stated in a statement.

The study reports the cancer burden in sub-Saharan Africa using national cancer incidence and mortality estimates from IARC’s GLOBOCAN 2020 database.

He reports that although cancer incidence rates remain unchanged, the cancer burden is expected to nearly double in sub-Saharan Africa over the next 20 years due to population growth and aging, up to 1.5 million new cases and 1 million deaths by 2040.

Characteristics of tumors in sub-Saharan Africa

The new report provides an overview of the cancer burden in terms of the number and characteristics of cancers in the region.

It reports an estimated total of 801,392 new cancer cases and 520,158 cancer deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020.

Female breast cancer (129,400 cases) and cervical cancer (110,300 cases) are responsible for 3 out of 10 cancers diagnosed in both sexes.

Among women, the most common types of cancer are breast cancer (which ranked first in 28 countries) and cervical cancer (in 19 countries). While in men, the most common type of cancer was prostate cancer (77,300 cases), followed by liver cancer (24,700 cases) and colorectal cancer (23,400 cases). Prostate cancer is the most common incident cancer in men in 40 sub-Saharan African countries.

The risk for a sub-Saharan African woman to develop cancer at age 75 is 14.1%, with breast cancer (4.1%) and cervical cancer (3.5%) being together responsible for half of this risk.

For men, the corresponding cumulative incidence at age 75 is lower (12.2%), with prostate cancer responsible for a third of this risk (4.2%).

Invest in locally produced data

To overcome the growing cancer challenge in the region, each sub-Saharan African country must implement a cancer control program as part of national health planning and have routine surveillance systems that can monitor cancer progress and implementation. of specific interventions.

The lead author of the study stressed the importance of investing in ledgers.

“A coordinated approach to the implementation of national strategies requires sustained investment in registries, which are the best surveillance system and provide data on incidence and survival by type of cancer and by stage at diagnosis,” said the head of the cancer surveillance at IARC and lead author of the report, Dr. Freddie Bray.

The study authors point out that local data from cancer registries in the region – members of the African Cancer Registries Network (AFCRN) – are critical for improving outcomes and saving lives.

Investing in the main source of information – population-based cancer registries – would provide countries with the ongoing data they need to plan and inform national cancer services, they said.

Over the past decade, the IARC-led Global Initiative for Cancer Registry Development (GICR) has given new impetus to support existing cancer registries and create new ones. In sub-Saharan Africa, the work of the GICR is carried out by members of the AFCRN, a consortium of all population-based cancer registries in the region that can meet defined quality criteria, including progressively full population coverage. The number of such registers in sub-Saharan Africa increased from 21 in 2013 to 35 (in 25 different countries) by the end of 2021.

Leave a Comment