About this Research Topic
Cancer is a growing public health problem in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) because of the increasing unhealthy habits and lifestyles, including continuous tobacco smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and physical inactivity. The region is also experiencing an aging and growing population, two demographic changes associated with a rise in cancer morbidity and mortality. It is estimated that the number of new cancer cases in the SSA region will increase by over 70% by 2030 due to demographic changes, urbanization, and the associated lifestyle changes. However, cancer continues to be a relatively low public health priority in the region. This has been attributed to limited resources that are disproportionately been used to tackle devastating public health problems such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Additionally, there is a general lack of awareness on the part of public health policymakers regarding the magnitude and extent of the cancer burden and its economic impact.
The lack of priority and awareness of the burden of cancer in SSA has adversely impacted the existence, quality, and management of cancer surveillance systems and the availability of cancer data sources in the region. Thus, the quality of cancer statistics and statistical analyses have been limited in their usage to supporting scientifically-driven evidence of supporting policies and interventions aimed at reducing the burden and suffering due to cancer. There have been limited and varied studies using biostatistical and epidemiological methods on available cancer data in the SSA region as the source for decision making.
This Research Topic is part of the output of the 2020 Masamu Advanced Study Institute (MASI) Workshops, held virtually on November 20 - 29. In this workshop, we discussed two critical themes in cancer research in Sub-Saharan Africa, namely, the epidemiological and biostatistics methods for cancer research.
Among the topics discussed and presented include:
- Principles of Cancer Epidemiology: Measuring and Comparing Cancer Burden and Risk.
- Cancer progression and multi-state Markov models
- Cervical and breast cancer screening; factors and trends
- Survival Analysis.
- Statistical projection methods for cancer incidence and mortality:
- Evidence synthesis: systematic reviews and meta-analysis
- Statistical Methods for Population-Based Cancer Survival Analysis
- Competing risks and multinomial modeling for cancer
- Spatial analysis of cancer
Keywords: sub-saharan Africa, cancer, non-communicable diseases, aging population, epidemiological methods, biostatistical methods
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