Cancer Care in Low-Resource Areas: Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

When: October 26, 2015 - October 27, 2015 (8:00 AM Eastern)
Where: Keck Center (Keck 100) • 500 Fifth St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

Topics Biomedical and Health Research, Diseases, Health Care Workforce, Health Services, Coverage, and Access, Quality and Patient Safety
Activity: National Cancer Policy Forum
Board: Board on Health Care Services

Though cancer was once considered to be a problem primarily in wealthy nations, low- and middle-income countries now bear a majority share of the global cancer burden, and cancer often surpasses the burden of infectious diseases in these countries. Effective low-cost cancer control options are available for some malignancies, with the World Health Organization estimating that these interventions could facilitate the prevention of approximately one-third of cancer deaths worldwide. But these interventions remain inaccessible for many people in the world, especially those residing in low-resource communities that are characterized by a lack of funds. Low-resource areas tend to be concentrated in low- and middle-income countries, but these conditions exist in many populations and communities throughout the developed world as well, including the United States.

Few guidelines and strategies for cancer control consider the appropriateness and feasibility of such interventions in low-resource settings, which may undermine the effectiveness of these efforts. For example, interventions that are designed for high-resource settings may not account for important considerations such as resource constraints, infrastructure requirements, or whether a community has the capacity to deliver downstream care. In addition, social stigma, geopolitics, and cultural norms may limit access to adequate cancer care. As a result, cancer patients in resource-constrained communities continue to face delayed diagnosis of the disease, resulting in a more advanced stage at diagnosis and worsened prognosis.

Recognizing the challenges of providing cancer care in these settings, the National Cancer Policy Forum developed a workshop series examining cancer care in low-resource communities. This first workshop focused on cancer prevention and early detection, and featured invited presentations and panel discussions on topics such as:

  • An overview of disparities in cancer control and outcomes, accounting for cultural and political barriers to access as well as resource-constraints
  • The current evidence base and strategies to support effective cancer prevention and risk reduction in low-resource settings
  • Key gaps in the evidence base and the challenges and opportunities to address those gaps to improve cancer outcomes for patients in low-resource populations
  • Potential action steps for effectively applying the available evidence on cancer prevention in resource-constrained communities
  • Principled evaluations of successes and failures in cancer control efforts in low resource settings, which could serve as models for how to develop effective and affordable cancer control 

A second workshop, focused on cancer treatment, palliative care, and survivorship care, was held on November 14-15, 2016. This workshop proceedings can be found here.

Workshop Planning Committee
Greta Massetti, Centers for Disease Control (Co-Chair)
Kathleen Schmeler, MD Anderson Cancer Center (Co-Chair)
Lucile Adams-Campbell, Georgetown University
Afsan Bhadelia, Harvard School of Public Health
Dejana Braithwaite, University of California--San Francisco
Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Lori Hoffman-Hogg, Department of Veterans Affairs
Samir Khleif, Georgia Regents University Cancer Center
Felicia Knaul, University of Miami
Daniel Masys, University of Washington
Tasha Moses, Strategic Management Services, LLC
Heather White, Population Services International

Confirmed Speakers
Fabio Almeida, Virginia Tech
Ben Anderson, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Monica Baskin, University of Alabama, Birmingham
Stella Bialous, University of California--San Francisco
Thomas Bollyky, Council on Foreign Relations
Otis Brawley, American Cancer Society
Luis Castilla, Embassy of Peru, Ministry of Economy and Finance of Peru
Ulysses Dorotheo, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance
Michael Eriksen, Georgia State University
T. Peter Kingham, Memorial Sloan Kettering
Doug Morgan, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center
Doyin Oluwole, Global Health Innovations and Action Foundation
Loyce Pace, LIVESTRONG Foundation
Neal Palafox, University of Hawaii
Electra Paskett, Ohio State University
Mona Saraiya, Centers for Disease Control
Isabel Scarinci, University of Alabama, Birmingham
Ted Trimble, National Cancer Institute
Vivien Tsu, PATH

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