Table of Contents
International Journal of Palliative Care
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 141627, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/141627
Review Article

Ethical, Socioeconomic, and Cultural Considerations in Gynecologic Cancer Care in Developing Countries

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology/Gynae-Oncology Unit, Multidisciplinary Oncology Center, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu PMB 01129, Nigeria
2Department of Anaesthesia/Pain and Palliative Care Unit, Multidisciplinary Oncology Center, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu PMB 01129, Nigeria

Received 22 April 2013; Accepted 11 November 2013; Published 19 January 2014

Academic Editors: D. Heigener, C. Knapp, and R. Viola

Copyright © 2014 Uzochukwu Uzoma Aniebue and Tonia Chinyelu Onyeka. 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.

Abstract

Gynaecologic cancers contribute significantly to the cancer burden in developing countries, resulting in higher mortality and morbidity rates among women in these nations. This situation is further compounded by the occurrence of wars, famine, poverty and natural disasters, and infectious diseases like hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS. In addition, merge resources and manpower lack in these countries further compound this very delicate situation. Often times, socioeconomic, cultural, and ethical factors such as truth-telling, choice of place of care, place of death, treatment choices, medication use, and terminal sedation can interfere in patient management. Availability and use of oral morphine for pain relief, spiritual care and availability of palliative care services, the individuals’ autonomy, and family and community participation in care, end of life issues, and preservation of fertility are also big issues that determine the course of care. This review discusses these pertinent factors, discusses how they affect cancer care in women, and proffers ideas for healthcare workers and policy makers on implementation of sustainable models for cancer care in developing countries. Addressing socioeconomic, cultural, and ethical issues affecting gynaecologic cancer care will aid in ensuring development of viable models of cancer care in resource-limited countries.