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International Journal of Breast Cancer
Volume 2012, Article ID 423562, 9 pages
Review Article

Improving Outcomes from Breast Cancer in a Low-Income Country: Lessons from Bangladesh

1International Breast Cancer Research Foundation, 660 John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI 53713, USA
2School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 872402, Tempe, AZ 85287-2402, USA
3Amader Gram, 11/8 Iqbal Road, Ground Floor, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh
4Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 871205, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
5The Ohio State University, 3058 Derby Hall, 154 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210-1339, USA
6Department of Medicine, Women’s College Research Institute, University of Toronto, 790 Bay Street, 7th Floor, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1N8

Received 8 September 2011; Accepted 28 October 2011

Academic Editor: Steven S. Coughlin

Copyright © 2012 H. L. Story et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have yet to benefit from recent advances in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment now experienced in high-income countries. Their unique sociocultural and health system circumstances warrant a different approach to breast cancer management than that applied to women in high-income countries. Here, we present experience from the last five years working in rural Bangladesh. Case and consecutive series data, focus group and individual interviews, and clinical care experience provide the basis for this paper. These data illustrate a complex web of sociocultural, economic, and health system conditions which affect womens’ choices to seek and accept care and successful treatment. We conclude that health system, human rights, and governance issues underlie high mortality from this relatively rare disease in Bangladesh.