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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2010, Article ID 595167, 6 pages
Research Article

Breast Cancer in Developing Countries: Opportunities for Improved Survival

1Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA
2Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-6018, USA
3Harvard Global Equity Initiative, 651 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Received 16 May 2010; Revised 7 August 2010; Accepted 19 October 2010

Academic Editor: Wah Yun Low

Copyright © 2010 Lawrence N. Shulman 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.


Breast cancer survival in the USA has continually improved over the last six decades and has largely been accredited to the use of mammography, advanced surgical procedures, and adjuvant therapies. Data indicate, however, that there were substantial improvements in survival in the USA even prior to these technological and diagnostic advances, suggesting important opportunities for early detection and treatment in low- and middle-income countries where these options are often unavailable and/or unaffordable. Thus, while continuing to strive for increased access to more advanced technology, improving survival in these settings should be more immediately achievable through increased awareness of breast cancer and of the potential for successful treatment, a high-quality primary care system without economic or cultural barriers to access, and a well-functioning referral system for basic surgical and hormonal treatment.