Lead by the Bristol-Myers Squib Foundation, the SECURE THE FUTURE® initiative works with their partners in Africa to provide care and support for communities affected by HIV.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, and disproportionately affects developing countries where over 58% of cases occur. This however, is in sharp contrast with low incidence rates of lung cancers reported in Africa. This apparently “low burden” of lung cancers in the context of critical lack of accurate data, likely reflects enormous underestimations of the true burden, considering the high prevalence in the African setting of some major risk factors for lung cancer such as pulmonary tuberculosis and HIV infection. Indeed, most African countries lack nationwide or regional population-based cancer registries, and have no reliable source of mortality data.
In Kenya, with a population of 42 million people, cancer ranks third as a cause of death after infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases. It causes 7% of total national mortality every year. Although population based data does not exist in the country, it is estimated that the annual incidence of cancer is about 40,000 cases and the annual mortality to be over 28,000. Over 60% of those affected are below the age of 70 years with 70-80% of patients diagnosed at an advanced stage. Thus, Kenya remains one of the highest disease-burden countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This initiative is part of a Multinational Lung Cancer Control Program (MLCCP) which aims to improve understanding of lung cancer pathways and access to early diagnostic services for lung cancer by addressing the barriers of cancer care through working with communities and the Ministries of Health in the identified regions with a potential for scale-up. The multinational study covers specific regions in Kenya, Tanzania, Swaziland and South Africa.
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