Cancer Care in Africa: An Overview of Resources

J Glob Oncol. 2015 Sep 23;1(1):30-36. doi: 10.1200/JGO.2015.000406. eCollection 2015 Oct.


Purpose: According to predictions from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, over the next 5 years, the annual number of new cases of cancer in Africa will grow to more than one million. Together with the immense loss in human life, there is a considerable economic setback attached to this number. However, most African nations are far from adequately scaling up their capacity to control cancer.

Methods: This study reviews the published data on the existing cancer control resources in Africa. It is, to our knowledge, the first combined effort looking at all resources available on the continent regarding cancer care.

Results: The total number of 102 cancer treatment centers, including general oncology centers, gynecologic oncology or other single-organ malignancy units, and pediatric oncology and palliative care establishments, is not sufficient to cover the increasing needs of the African population affected by cancer. In addition, the continental average total health expenditure per capita amounts to only US$82.

Conclusion: This review could serve as a starting point for devising realistic solutions meant to improve the prevention and management of malignant disease on the African continent.

Publication types

  • Review