DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–World Cancer Day 2017 marks the release of a comprehensive
report on breast cancer in Tanzania, funded by Susan G. Komen and
Merck & Co. The assessment recommends specific actions to standardize
breast cancer treatment, streamline patient referrals, and invest in
provider training – all vital steps in combating the growing impact of
breast cancer in Tanzania.
About 80 percent of Tanzanian women are diagnosed with breast cancer at
advanced stages (III or IV), and half of all diagnosed will die of the
Komen was asked by the Tanzania Ministry of Health, Community
Development, Gender, Elderly and Children to conduct an investigation of
the country’s health infrastructure, and prioritize action items to
address gaps and improve breast cancer care. This work builds upon
Komen’s ongoing efforts to reduce the burden of breast cancer in
sub-Saharan Africa through the Pink
Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership.
Komen worked in partnership with a multidisciplinary team of breast
cancer experts from the University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer
Research Center, Tanzania women’s health organization WEMA and the Ocean
Road Cancer Institute of Dar es Salam.
“There is strong support for addressing and improving breast cancer care
throughout Tanzania. However, a number of challenges impede availability
and access to care,” said University of Washington Director of Breast
Medical Oncology, Komen Scholar and BCI2.5 Secretariat Co-chair Dr.
Julie Gralow. “These challenges create significant delays in detection,
diagnosis and treatment, and result in more than 80 percent of breast
cancer patients being diagnosed at late stages when treatment is less
effective and costlier.”
Using tools and strategies developed by Breast Cancer Initiative 2.5 (BCI2.5)
– a global campaign to reduce disparities in breast cancer outcomes –
the assessment lays out a resource-appropriate, phased implementation
plan to address the need for standardized guidelines, a streamlined
referral system and investment in human resources, especially pathology
capacity and training of primary care providers:
Prerequisites: Standardized guidelines, protocols and trained
health care workforce.
- Phase 1: Diagnosis and management of palpable breast disease.
Phase 2: Treatment planning adapted to the resources available
in the community.
Phase 3: Targeted education interventions for public and health
care staff and scaling up clinical breast examination (CBE) to ensure
more breast cancers are detected early.
Phase 4: Management of non-palpable disease as a prerequisite
to image-based (mammographic) screening.
“Successful breast cancer control demands integrating early detection
programs with accurate diagnosis and timely, accessible and effective
treatments. Addressing any of these components in isolation will not
improve breast cancer outcomes,” cautioned Anna Cabanes, Ph.D., MPH,
Director of Global Programs at Komen.
“While ambitious, we believe that these recommendations are feasible and
can be achieved if each step is adequately resourced and fully
implemented,” said Dr. Benjamin O. Anderson, Director of the Breast
Health Clinic at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Seattle, Washington,
Komen Scholar and Secretariat Co-chair of BCI2.5.
The assessment is the latest milestone in Komen’s global efforts to
combat breast cancer, currently taking place in more than 30 countries.
Learn more about the current state of breast cancer in Tanzania and the
assessment’s key findings in the full
About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization,
funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit outside of
the federal government while providing real-time help to those facing
the disease. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of
breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Since its
founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $920 million in research
and provided more than $2 billion in funding to screening, education,
treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people
in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G.
Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the
disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit komen.org
or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.
Susan G. Komen
Joni Avery, 972-855-4382