African Journal of Urology

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The untapped potential of digital pathology in prostate cancer diagnosis and medical education in sub-Saharan Africa

Xavier Farré, Joshua Kibera


Introduction: Prostate cancer exerts a significant burden of disease in sub-Saharan Africa. Late clinical presentation with metastatic disease at diagnosis and the lack of structured national screening programs are unsolved issues. The delay in prostate cancer diagnosis is in part due to the severe shortage of African pathologists with inadequate or inaccessible diagnostic infrastructure playing a contributory role to this problem.
Discussion: Digital pathology platforms could offer new solutions to the diagnostic and educational challenges facing pathologists practicing in Africa. For prostate cancer, they could provide several advantages including the assessment of biopsy cores, measurement of tumor volumes and second opinion consultation of difficult cases. They may also be an outstanding tool in developing Gleason tutorials for educational and standardization purposes.
Conclusion: A transition to digital pathology in sub-Saharan Africa could yield incremental benefits to the quality of pathology diagnosis and highlight the growing capacity of digital pathology as a sub-speciality educational tool in the training of African pathologists both in prostate pathology and other pathology sub-specializations.
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