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Pan African Medical Journal

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Cancer in Angola, resources and strategy for its control

Lygia Vieira Lopes, Ana Vaz Conceição, João Blasques Oliveira, António Tavares, Clarinha Domingos, Lucio Lara Santos

Abstract


Background: Cancer is an increasingly important health problem in Africa. The number of cancer cases in this region could double, ranging between 700 000 and 1 600 000 new cases in 2030. The mortality rate is higher than 80% and is explained, mainly, by a lack of early detection, diagnostics and treatment resources. In Angola, about 7,000 patients die of cancer every year. Methods: Data were derived from open-ended interviews conducted in 2010-11 with health authorities, clinicians, nurses and Administration of Hospitals. According Angola epidemiological data, results of interviews and international published advocacy for cancer control we develop a potential strategy for its control. The objectives are to identify existing resources for cancer control and describe the needs thereto, in order to establish an oncological program to guide the development of Angola cancer control strategies. Results: Malaria remains the leading cause of illness and death in Angola, and other communicable diseases remain a public health problem. However, 9 000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year.The most common types of cancer are: cancer of the cervix, breast, prostate, esophagus, stomach and head and neck, as well as cancers with infectious origin, such as Kaposi?s sarcoma and liver and bladder cancer. The foundation for developing national cancer control strategies includes: oncological data; investment and training; identifying and removing barriers; guidance and protection of the patient. Angolan National Cancer Centre, Sagrada Esperança Clinic and Girassol Clinic are now developing a cancer program. Conclusion: Improving the economic situation of Angola creates conditions for an increase in life expectancy which in itself is associated with an increased risk of oncological diseases. On the other hand, infectious diseases, associated with the risk of malignant tumors, are endemic. Thus, an increase in patients with malignant disease is expected. A plan is therefore necessary to organize the response to this old but less visible nosologic situation.

Pan African Medical Journal 2012; 12:13



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