Public health oncology: A framework for progress in low- and middle-income countries

R. R. Love, O. M. Ginsburg, C. N. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: The problems of cancer are increasing in low- and middle-income countries (LMCs), which now have significant majorities of the global case and mortality burdens. The professional oncology community is being increasingly called upon to define pragmatic and realistic approaches to these problems. Patients and methods: Focusing on mortality and case burden outcomes defines public health oncology or population-affecting cancer medicine. We use this focus to consider practical approaches. Results: The greatest cancer burdens are in Asia. A public health oncology perspective mandates: first, addressing the major and social challenges of cancer medicine for populations: human rights, health systems, corruption, and our limited knowledge base for value-conscious interventions. Second, adoption of evolving concepts and models for sustainable development in LMCs. Third, clear and realistic statements of action and inaction affecting populations, grounded in our best cancer science, and attention to these. Finally, framing the goals and challenges for population-affecting cancer medicine requires a change in paradigm from historical top-down models of technology transfer, to one which is community-grounded and local-evidence based. Conclusion: Public health oncology perspectives define clear focus for much needed research on country-specific practical approaches to cancer control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbermds473
Pages (from-to)3040-3045
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer in low-income countries
  • Public health oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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