Closing the Cancer Divide Between Rich and Poor Women

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Ana Langer, Director of the Maternal Health Task Force at the Women and Health Initiative at Harvard School of Public Health, is a co-author on an important new publication, Meeting the emerging challenge of breast and cervical cancer in low- and middle-income countries, that “describes the transition in women’s cancers and reviews the cancer divide as it relates to the health of women.”

Throughout the paper, Ana Langer–along with colleagues Felicia M. Knaul, Afsan Bhadelia, Julie Gralow, Hector Arreola-Ornelas, and Julio Frenk–highlight numerous opportunities for strengthening global and national programs in order to close the cancer divide between rich and poor, with a special focus on cervical and breast cancer.

According to the authors, ” For LMIC [low-and middle income country] health systems to respond effectively to these compounded challenges, a broader vision is required that goes beyond the false dichotomy of communicable versus noncommunicable disease and breaks down the barriers that have been created. The transition in cancers of women clearly demonstrates the need and the potential to adopt this more holistic view and organize health systems to respond to the needs of people rather than around specific diseases. The horizons of maternal and reproductive health should extend to include the life cycle of healthy changes and illness that are embodied in successfully having women live longer.”

Access the article here.