What is it about?

Probably counterintuitively, Sub-saharan Africa is experiencing the most rapid growth in the number of older adults in the world. The aging of the sub-Saharan African population is « mechanically » accompanied by an increase in the incidence of non-communicable diseases, including cancer. For the first time, we described the cancer burden in adults over 60 in 4 sub-Saharan African countries.

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Why is it important?

The number of older adults with cancer will double shortly on the continent. Cancer management in older adults needs specific consideration. Also, older adults have a very important social role. The expected increase will have a considerable impact on families and society. It is time to do something!


I really liked working on this paper as it highlights a population that is often underrepresented in research and health interventions. I really hope this work will help draw the attention of policymakers, researchers and the general public to older adults in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Sophie Pilleron
University of Oxford

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Cancer incidence in older adults in selected regions of sub-Saharan Africa, 2008-2012, International Journal of Cancer, September 2018, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/ijc.31880.
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