Roche Pioneers Study on Hurdles of Breast Cancer Care in Nigeria, Other Countries

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By Martins Ifijeh

Global pharmaceutical and diagnostics company, Roche, has presented the study design for the first-ever breast cancer patient journey study in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) at the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) congress in Kigali, Rwanda.

The study aims to describe the typical breast cancer patient journey, as well as to assess resource use, cost, and other hurdles influencing patient care in public and private hospitals in Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana.

Despite advances in management over the years, breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide. The burden of breast cancer disproportionately affects African countries with 5-year survival rates as low as 12 per cent in parts of Africa, compared with almost 90 per cent in the United States, Australia and Canada.

In addition, as many as 80 per cent of patients in sub-Sahara Africa are diagnosed with late-to-end stage disease when very little can be achieved in terms of curative treatment.

The limited availability of resources also adversely impacts access to care, resulting in sub-optimal management, high morbidity and mortality, thus placing breast cancer patients and their families at risk of financial hardship.

According to Roche, Lack of financial burden data is a major obstacle to developing policies for cancer care in lower middle-income countries. The study data will address this and also provide insight into the challenges of addressing the full spectrum of breast cancer patient care in SSA.

With this study Roche aims to help identify what solutions are needed at multiple points in the patient journey. The Full study data will be available in 2018.