When we think about global health, cancer isn't usually the first thing that comes to mind. In the last century, global-health initiatives have focused heavily on reducing the burden of infectious diseases and improving reproductive, maternal and child health. But, as low- and middle-income countries successfully reduce deaths from these conditions, populations are living longer and non-communicable diseases – particularly cancers – are becoming a growing public health problem.
In a recent podcast with RadioRounds.org, Ami Bhatt, MD, PhD, discusses the challenges of global cancer care and what it will take to solve them. With 70 percent of cancer deaths occurring in low resource settings, Bhatt, an assistant professor of medicine and genetics and director of global oncology for the Center for Innovation in Global Health, explains the need for improved access to cancer diagnosis and treatment, as well as palliative care:
Getting a good diagnosis is simply not enough… We really need to build systems that can care for patients from the beginning of their illness through their course of therapy. While this is a very, very difficult thing to do, typically, a healthcare system that can take care of cancer, can take care of almost any disease.
Tune in to hear more about Bhatt’s work and projects underway with her nonprofit organization, Global Oncology, Inc.