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Cancer control in low- and middle-income countries

Guest Editors:
Cristina StefanInstitute of Global Health Equity Research, Rwanda
Shenglan TangDuke University, United States

BMC Cancer has published this Collection on gaps and measures in place to improve cancer control in LMIC.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Cristina StefanInstitute of Global Health Equity Research, Rwanda

Cristina Stefan is a Professor of Global Health and Medicine and Director of the Institute of Global Health Equity Research (Weiss Chair of Research) at The University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda, providing leadership and developing the young generation of global health and oncology scientists. She obtained her MD in Romania, followed by Master’s degrees in Pediatrics and Oncology in South Africa, a Master’s in Cancer Epidemiology from the United Kingdom, a Ph.D. in medical education, and an MBA from France. She is the first woman elected president of the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer. She was voted the most influential African woman in business and government (medicine) in 2016 and among the top 100 Women Leaders in Healthcare in Asia in 2020. In 2022, she received the most prestigious IARC (International Agency for Research in Cancer) award for women in cancer research.

Shenglan TangDuke University, United States

Dr. Shenglan Tang, MD, Ph.D., is a Mary & James Semans Professor of Medicine and Global Health at the Department of Population Health Science of Duke Medical School. Tang has more than 30 years of experience undertaking research on health systems reform, disease control, and maternal and child health in China and other countries and has provided consultancy services on health systems strengthening to many international organizations and governments of developing countries. In 2012, Prof. Tang joined Duke from the WHO’s Tropical Diseases (TDR), based in Geneva, where he was Unit Leader for TB/HIV and Health Systems. Before his assignment at WHO, Prof. Tang was a faculty member at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK and the School of Public Health at Fudan University, China.

About the collection

BMC Cancer has published this Collection on gaps and measures in place to improve cancer control in LMIC.

In recent years, non-communicable diseases, including cancer, have shown a disproportionate increase in incidence and related mortality in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). By 2030, approximately three-quarters of all cancer deaths will occur in LMICs, with one in eight people experiencing a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. Reasons for these disparate trends include better risk factor control in high-income countries (lower infection-associated cancers, anti-smoking campaigns, and other preventive measures), educational resources, increased number of screening and surveillance programs with earlier detection of disease, and improved cancer therapies. In 2015, the United National General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), built on the principle of “leaving no one behind.” The goals highlighted the importance of fighting inequalities across the world, and specifically, two goals, SDG3 and SDG10, have the ambitious aim of reducing disparities within and among countries and ensuring healthy lives for all at all ages. In addition, the 2020 WHO report on cancer clearly states that cancer control is an integral component of the path toward universal health coverage and achieving SDGs. By investing wisely and equitably, cancer cases and deaths can be avoided, and premature mortality can be reduced by 2030.

Hence, to combat the high mortality of preventable and treatable cancer in LMICs, it is imperative to improve population-based screening programs and educate the public to bridge knowledge gaps, address misconceptions, and debunk myths. In addition, several gaps in the research enterprise of LMICs, such as the scarcity of reliable data, a lack of clinical trials, as well as the lack of infrastructure and trained human resources, must be addressed to solve local and regional problems with acceptable, feasible, effective, and implementable solutions.

In recognition of this relevant field, BMC Cancer has published this Collection which encouraged submissions including but not limited to those addressing:

  • Cancer patient navigators and their role in cancer control in LMIC
  • Cancer workforce training in LMIC
  • Decentralization of cancer care- do we have a universal model?
  • Technology, infrastructures, and the need for implementation in cancer care in LMIC
  • The role of AI and digital health in cancer care in LMIC
  • Financial burden of cancer care on families-cases studies in different LMIC:  what works to mitigate it? 
  • Impact of registries on cancer care- the real benefit
  • Determining the best treatment protocols based on local evidence in developing countries
  • Clinical trials and cancer in LMIC
  • Anticipation medicine and cancer in LMIC
  • Trends in cancer research in LMIC, how do they differ from HIC?
  • National cancer control plans and their utility in LMIC- case studies
  • Twinning and partnership in cancer care in LMIC 

Image credit: © sudok1 /

  1. Cervical cancer (CxCa), although preventable, is still among the most prevalent cancers in women. Mortality from this cancer is high, especially in low-income countries where preventive strategies are often la...

    Authors: Boshra Ali, Andrzej Galbarczyk, Grazyna Jasienska, Maryam Ba-Break and Hülya Gül
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:695
  2. Breast and cervical cancer are the two leading cancers in terms of incidence and mortality. Previous studies reported different interleukins, including interleukin-17A (IL-17A) to be responsible for the developme...

    Authors: Md. Abdul Aziz, Subrina Chowdhury, Sarah Jafrin, Md Abdul Barek, Mohammad Sarowar Uddin, Md. Shalahuddin Millat and Mohammad Safiqul Islam
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:660
  3. The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has strained healthcare systems and presented unique challenges for children requiring cancer care, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This study aimed to asse...

    Authors: Yotham Gwanika, Hannah E. Rice, Madeline Metcalf, Pamela Espinoza, Happiness D. Kajoka, Henry E. Rice, Catherine Staton, Blandina T. Mmbaga, Esther Majaliwa, Emily R. Smith and Cesia Cotache-Condor
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:457
  4. Colposcopy plays an essential role in diagnosing cervical lesions and directing biopsy; however, there are few studies of the capabilities of colposcopists in medically underserved communities in China. This s...

    Authors: Xiaoli Cui, Huike Wang, Mingyang Chen, Samuel Seery, Peng Xue, Youlin Qiao and Yuhong Shang
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:349
  5. Regular Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) for lung cancer high-risk population has been proved to improve health outcomes and relieve disease burden efficiently for both individual and society. With geograph...

    Authors: Jay Pan, Jianjian Wang, Wenjuan Tao, Chaohui Wang, Xiaojun Lin, Xiuli Wang and Ruicen Li
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:342
  6. Radiotherapy (RT) is an essential treatment modality against cancer and becoming even more in demand due to the anticipated increase in cancer incidence. Due to the rapid development of RT technologies amid fi...

    Authors: Arefeh Saeedian, Fatemeh-sadat Tabatabaei, Amirali Azimi, Mohammad Babaei, Marzieh Lashkari, Ebrahim Esmati, Zeinab Abiar, Leila Moadabshoar, Saleh Sandoughdaran, Mitchell Kamrava, Arya Amini and Reza Ghalehtaki
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:324
  7. Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer affecting women globally. Genetic testing serves as a prevention and treatment strategy for managing BC. This study aims to systematically review economic evaluatio...

    Authors: Sook Pin Goh, Siew Chin Ong and Jue Ern Chan
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:316
  8. Invasive breast cancer (IBC) is a leading cause of cancer-related death among women in Israel, regardless of ethnicity. This study compared IBC epidemiological, clinical, and pathological characteristics in Be...

    Authors: Itamar Ben Shitrit, Ao Wang, Karny Ilan, Ravit Agassi, Sofyan Abu Freih and Julie Vaynshtein
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:310
  9. Cancer incidence and mortality vary across the globe, with nearly two-thirds of cancer-related deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. The rural-urban disparity in socio-demographic, behavioural,...

    Authors: Divya Khanna, Priyanka Sharma, Atul Budukh, Rajesh Vishwakarma, Anand N. Sharma, Sonali Bagal, Varsha Tripathi, Vijay Kumar Maurya, Pankaj Chaturvedi and Satyajit Pradhan
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:308
  10. Cancer is a significant public health concern and the second leading cause of death. This study aims to visualize spatial patterns of top common cancer types and identify high-risk and low-risk counties for th...

    Authors: Sharareh Faramarzi, Behzad Kiani, Shahla Faramarzi and Neda Firouraghi
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:191
  11. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and side effects of first-line afatinib treatment in a real-world setting in Vietnam.

    Authors: Cam Phuong Pham, Thi Thai Hoa Nguyen, Anh Tu Do, Tuan Khoi Nguyen, Thi Anh Thu Hoang, Tuan Anh Le, Dinh Thy Hao Vuong, Dac Nhan Tam Nguyen, Van Khiem Dang, Thi Oanh Nguyen, Van Luan Pham, Minh Hai Nguyen, Thi Huyen Trang Vo, Hung Kien Do, Ha Thanh Vu, Thi Thuy Hang Nguyen…
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:176
  12. Physician-brief advice has been utilized in high-income countries to promote smoking cessation among cancer patients. Empirical evidence on its effectiveness among cancer patients in low and middle-income coun...

    Authors: Olayinka Stephen Ilesanmi, Babalola Faseru, Aanuoluwapo Adeyimika Afolabi, Olukemi Odukoya, Olalekan Ayo-Yusuf, Folahanmi Akinsolu, Akindele Olupelumi Adebiyi and William K. Evans
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:149
  13. Current guidelines advocate for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in adults who are at risk by using direct visualization methods such as colonoscopy. However, in Egypt, there is a paucity of data regarding th...

    Authors: Abdallah R. Allam, Mostafa A. Elsayed, Ibrahim Tawfiq Daghash, Ali M. Abdelaziz, Omnia M. Mostafa, Hamdy Khaled Sabra, Ahmed Monib Eldaboush, Noor Maged Badrawy Ahmed, Rawan Tarek Elweza, Enas Sherif Adwy, Abdelrahman Elbendary Hammad, Ibrahim Ali Kabbash, Ahmed Hafez Allam, Ammar Ayman Bahbah, Marwa Ibrahim Ewis, Mohamed Mohamed Shawqi…
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:131
  14. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in terms of incidence and mortality among women worldwide, including in Africa, and a rapid increase in the number of new cases of breast cancer has recently been observ...

    Authors: Clémence Schantz, Abdourahmane Coulibaly, Alassane Traoré, Bakary Abou Traoré, Kadiatou Faye, Julie Robin, Luis Teixeira and Valéry Ridde
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:81
  15. The single-visit strategy, also known as the “screen-and-treat” approach, is widely used to screen for cervical cancer in low- and middle-income countries. The screen-and-treat approach leads to unnecessary or...

    Authors: Godfrey K. Kaizilege, Edgar Ndaboine, Clotilda Chuma, Fridolin Mujuni, Richard Kiritta, Dismas Matovelo, Oscar Ottoman, Edrick Elias, Nestory Masalu, Benson R. Kidenya and Humphrey D. Mazigo
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:66
  16. Although mastectomy is the standard treatment modality for breast cancer patients in Ethiopia, our previous study revealed that one in five patients do not receive the recommended procedure, half due to patien...

    Authors: Abigiya Wondimagegnehu, Solomon Teferra, Mathewos Assefa, Bradley Zebrack, Adamu Addissie and Eva J. Kantelhardt
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:60
  17. The Syrian decade-long war has severely affected the healthcare system, including almost vanishing cancer screening practices, war-destroyed medical facilities, and lack of continuous medical education. This s...

    Authors: Fouad Nahhat, Modar Doyya, Kareem Zabad, Tarek Abo Laban, Hasan Najjar, Maher Saifo and Firas Badin
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1234
  18. Breast Cancer (BC) is a formidable global health challenge, and Iran is no exception, with BC accounting for a significant proportion of women’s malignancies. To gain deeper insights into the epidemiological c...

    Authors: Mohsen Soleimani, Seyed Mohammad Ayyoubzadeh, Ahmad Jalilvand and Marjan Ghazisaeedi
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1219
  19. Women living with HIV are at increased risk of developing cervical cancer (CC). Screening for cancer is an important preventive strategy for the early detection of precancerous lesions and its management. Ther...

    Authors: Easwaran Vigneshwaran, Narayana Goruntla, Bhavana Reddy Bommireddy, Mohammad Jaffar Sadiq Mantargi, Bhavani Mopuri, Durga Prasad Thammisetty, Kasturi Vishwanathasetty Veerabhadrappa and Sarad Pawar Naik Bukke
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1216
  20. Evaluating the effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment on a patient’s overall well-being is crucial and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a reliable metric for assessing this impact. Little is known ...

    Authors: Md. Shahjalal, Marufa Sultana, Jeff Gow, Mohammad Enamul Hoque, Sabuj Kanti Mistry, Ahmed Hossain and Rashidul Alam Mahumud
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1208
  21. Patients diagnosed with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) typically experience a poor prognosis, and it is essential to predict overall survival (OS) and stratify patients based on distinct prognostic risks.

    Authors: Ziqian Song, Hengmin Ma, Hao Sun, Qiuxia Li, Yan Liu, Jing Xie, Yukun Feng, Yuwang Shang, Kena Ma, Nan Zhang and Jialin Wang
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1182
  22. In the last decades, an increasing incidence of testicular cancer has been observed in several countries worldwide. Although mortality rates have been variable in many countries, little information is availabl...

    Authors: Yuleizy Crispin-Rios, Mariafe Faura-Gonzales, J. Smith Torres-Roman, Carlos Quispe-Vicuña, Uriel S. Franco-Jimenez, Bryan Valcarcel, Andreas Stang and Katherine A. McGlynn
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1038
  23. Eyelid skin cancers are the most prevalent ophthalmic malignancies. This study aimed to evaluate the association of the Human Development Index (HDI) and lifestyle risk factors with eyelid skin cancers in Iran.

    Authors: Sare Safi, Mohadese Ahmadzade, Saeed Karimi, Mohammad Esmaeil Akbari, Hamidreza Rouientan, Mohammad Abolhosseini, Mozhgan Rezaei Kanavi and Zahra Khorrami
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:924

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes the submission of Research Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "Cancer control in low- and middle-income countries" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Guest Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Guest Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.