A new article by researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) provides evidence that the number of maternal orphans (children aged < 18 years at maternal death) due to breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa exceeds the number of deaths from breast cancer among women in the region. This research was published in the journal JAMA Oncology.
The study examined the impact of almost 800 breast cancer deaths in four countries in sub-Saharan Africa and found that these deaths created almost 1000 maternal orphans. Although just less than half of the deaths occurred in women younger than 50 years, these deaths resulted in an overwhelming majority of the maternal orphans.
The intergenerational consequences of deaths due to breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa appear to be substantial. These findings underline the urgent need for continued action to improve breast cancer survival in this region.
Galukande M, Schüz J, Anderson BO, Zietsman A, Adisa C, Anele A, et al.
Maternally orphaned children and intergenerational concerns associated with breast cancer deaths among women in sub-Saharan Africa
JAMA Oncol, Published online 23 December 2020;