Cancer is an emerging public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa due to population growth, ageing and westernisation of lifestyles. The increasing burden of cancer calls for urgent policy attention to develop cancer prevention and control programmes. Cancer surveillance is an essential prerequisite. Only one in five low-income and middle-income countries have the necessary data to drive policy and reduce the cancer burden. In this piece, we use data from Mozambique over a 50-year period to illustrate cancer epidemiological trends in low-income and middle-income countries to hypothesise potential circumstances and factors that could explain changes in cancer burden and to discuss surveillance weaknesses and potential improvements. Like many low-income and middle-income countries, Mozambique faces the dual challenge of a still high morbidity and mortality due to infectious diseases in rural areas and increased incidence of cancers associated with westernisation of lifestyles in urban areas, as well as a rise of cancers related to the HIV epidemic. An increase in cancer burden and changes in the cancer profile should be expected in coming years. The Mozambican healthcare and health-information systems, like in many other low-income and middle-income countries, are not prepared to face this epidemiological transition, which deserves increasing policy attention.
- low- and middle-income countries
This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Statistics from Altmetric.com
CL, LO and AV are shared first authors.
CL, LO and AV contributed equally.
Handling editor Seye Abimbola
Contributors CL, LO and AV wrote the first draft. All other authors provided critical comments and drafted the original version.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data are available.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.