Cancer in the Developing World

International Childhood Cancer Day is on February 15th. All of our lives have been touched by cancer in some way. However, most of us in the US do not think about cancer in the developing world. Please read on to learn more about the global cancer burden and how you can help.

Cancer is a tragedy that does not discriminate and impacts millions globally. Every year, 4.8 million people die from cancer in the developing world, which is more than malaria and HIV/AIDS combined. This number is expected to rise to 13 million in 2030, disproportionately impacting lower and middle income countries.

  Infographic Source: PRI 
Yet, cancer is severely underfunded. Out of the approximately $8.6 billion USD of donor health funding in 2008, only $168 million went to fund cancer. While cancer accounts for approximately 55% of all deaths, the disease only receives 2% of the funding.
  Infographic Source: American Cancer Society, Rising Global Cancer Epidemic

Sadly, this disparity in cancer funding, treatment, and care remains. Did you know that most new cancer cases occur in the developing world? 80% of new childhood cancer cases each year are in lower and middle income countries. Most go undiagnosed and many children die in pain, with only Tylenol for relief.

So, what can be done? Many of these deaths – especially childhood cancers – can be prevented with diagnosis and treatment. At least 60% of children with cancer in low / middle income countries could be cured with generic drugs and relatively simple treatment protocols known to doctors for decades. Just $1,000 provides the drugs, treatment, and care for a child with cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, compared to $500,000 in the United States.


Pictured: Oscar, a Wilm’s Tumor survivor successfully treated at World Child Cancer’s Project in Malawi 

What can you do? Learn more about childhood cancer in the developing world and our projects at our website. Follow us on  FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn and share our stories.

It’s time to start prioritizing cancer awareness, diagnosis, and treatment in lower and middle income countries. Join us in making cancer a funding priority and to ensure no child suffers, regardless of where they live.