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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 58-62

Cancer care: Challenges in the developing world

Department of Clinical Haematology, Haemato-Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chepsy C Philip
Christian Medical College and Hospital, Brown Road, Ludhiana - 141 008, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CRST.CRST_1_17

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Objective: Cancer care in the developing world remains a challenge. Limitations in the diagnosis, poverty, and knowledge are recognized as some of the challenges. Health-care financing and treatment facilities are limitations toward availing cancer care. An assessment of the extent of the burden and strength of available infrastructure is limited. We performed an assessment to gather information from young oncologists in the developing world to identify similarities and differences among the countries. Methods: Information on services was gathered using a questionnaire from young oncologists participating in the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meet selected to represent various developing countries. Descriptive statistics were used to report results. Results: The median doctor: outpatient ratio was 1:20 (1:2–1:80). Median: staffing ratio in an oncology ward was 1:6 (1:2–1:20). Four (22.2%) respondents reported complete social security support for health care in oncology. Stem cell transplant facility was reported as available in 8 (44.4%) centers out of 20. South Asian respondents reported the highest out-of-pocket expenditure (65%) and the least doctor: outpatient ratio at 1:20. Conclusion: Cancer care challenges appear similar in the regions surveyed. Additional strategies to improve the health-care infrastructure and provide a health security net to treat all cancer patients are required to benefit the efforts to tackle the growing burden of cancer in the developing countries.

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