America has waged war on cancer for more than forty years, but in developing countries the fight has barely begun. In this radio and online series, we meet patients, doctors, and public health advocates on the front lines. What political, cultural, and logistical obstacles make tackling cancer so difficult across most of the globe?
Dr. Jackson Orem heads the Uganda Cancer Institute. Until recently, he was the only oncologist in a country of more than 30 million people. He argues that cancer deserves the same attention given to other afflictions in the developing world, such as AIDS and malaria.
Audio Slideshow: Dr. Orem on Cancer's Hidden Toll
Haitian women know little about breast cancer, and those who contract it rarely receive treatment. An American charity and its local partners are trying to change that. But it’s not easy providing cancer care in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.
Slideshow: Fighting Breast Cancer in Haiti
Cervical cancer is far more common – and more deadly – in the developing world than in the United States. One reason: women in the US receive routine screening that catches the disease in its earliest stages. A low-cost test being rolled out in India could save tens of thousands of lives there each year.
Cancer can be triggered by infectious diseases, especially in impoverished parts of the world. Scientists in the US and Africa are working to unravel how viruses and bacteria cause malignancies. By breaking that cycle, they hope to prevent tumors from forming in the first place.
Modern cancer care involves more than the latest surgical techniques and chemotherapy drugs; it also offers freedom from pain. Yet basic palliative care, in the form of morphine, is almost nonexistent for many patients in developing countries. What is being done to bring them pain relief?
Slideshow: Pain and Comfort
Richard Horton, editor of the medical journal The Lancet, criticizes governments and foundations for overlooking cancer as an important issue in the developing world. In an interview with reporter Joanne Silberner, Horton urges political leaders to take up the cause.