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J Oncol. 2010;2010:595167. doi: 10.1155/2010/595167. Epub 2010 Dec 29.

Breast cancer in developing countries: opportunities for improved survival.

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Breast cancer survival in the USA has continually improved over the last six decades and has largely been accredited to the use of mammography, advanced surgical procedures, and adjuvant therapies. Data indicate, however, that there were substantial improvements in survival in the USA even prior to these technological and diagnostic advances, suggesting important opportunities for early detection and treatment in low- and middle-income countries where these options are often unavailable and/or unaffordable. Thus, while continuing to strive for increased access to more advanced technology, improving survival in these settings should be more immediately achievable through increased awareness of breast cancer and of the potential for successful treatment, a high-quality primary care system without economic or cultural barriers to access, and a well-functioning referral system for basic surgical and hormonal treatment.

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