This year, worldwide, there will be 1.5 million new cases of breast cancer. One million of these will be in women who are poor, mostly in Asia.
For these one million poor women, this disease will not involve mammograms, PET scans, targeted therapy, reconstructive surgery, or health insurance coverage debates. There will be no mysteries for these women about a tumor unseen, found in a mammogram, hidden in the breast, or invisible cancer cells throughout their bodies for which adjuvant systemic treatment is needed. Their cancers will be visible, progressive and dooming. These women have no support groups and in their communities there will be no races for the cure.
By most global measures, these women are forgotten -- off anyone's radar screens.
Bangladesh is the 7th most populous country in the world. It is also one of the poorest, most densely populated and corrupt of nations. Its health system is underfinanced, undermanned and dysfunctional. For most women who develop breast cancer in Bangladesh, the disease grows without any intervention, they have no treatment options, they become social outcasts and they die miserably.
Where do we start to find solutions to this ugly state of affairs?
You'll see the answers in our story here.
For more information, visit www.ibcrf.org.