Fred Hutchinson tackles breast cancer treatment in developing economies

Women in low and middle income countries suffering from breast cancer do not always receive adequate care. A Lancet Oncology report states that worldwide breast cancer occurrence and mortality are expected to increase by 50 percent from 2002 and 2020. Breast cancer is currently the number one cause of cancer deaths in women around the globe, and the mortality rates are strikingly higher in developing countries.

Co-sponsored by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) is addressing cancer care and treatment in emerging economies. The initiative is teaming up with the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy in Vienna, Austria to host an international gathering to promote better quality-of-life and supportive care practices in developing economies.

BHGI is a global leader in best practices related to breast cancer treatment. They have crafted models and guidelines which are used internationally and which are the product of previous BHGI summits. In countries where healthcare is both scarce and expensive, this often means less than ideal treatment options for women with breast cancer. The 2012 Summit hopes to reverse this trend by presenting guidelines for supportive care, survivorship care, palliative care, and pain management.

The summit will be co-chaired by Dr. Julie Gralow and Dr. Eduardo Rosenblatt. Dr. Gralow is a Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, as well as Director, Breast Medical Oncology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance,  amongst other positions held. Dr. Eduardo Rosenblatt is a scientist at the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) within the Applied Radiation Biology and Radiotherapy, Division of Human Health and Nuclear Sciences and Applications, in Vienna, Austria.

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