Radiotherapy for breast cancer: The predictable consequences of an unmet need

Danielle Rodin, Felicia M. Knaul, Tracey Y. Lui, Mary Gospodarowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Radiotherapy has had a transformative impact on the treatment of breast cancer, but is unavailable to the majority of breast cancer patients in low- and middle-income countries. In these settings, where many women present with advanced disease at an age when they are often the primary caregiver for their families, the lack of access to radiotherapy is particularly devastating. Until recently, this disparity has been largely neglected in the medical literature and it had been difficult to convince governments, industry, and policymakers of the importance of investing in radiotherapy, as well as broader cancer control strategies, in low-resource settings. The Lancet Radiotherapy Commission report published in 2015 challenged many assumptions about the affordability of radiotherapy treatment. Data from the Commission is presented here to support radiotherapy investment for breast cancer and discuss how the morbidity and premature mortality among adult women caused by breast cancer has a huge detrimental effect on both the health sector and the economy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-122
Number of pages3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Developing countries
  • Global health
  • Health economics
  • Radiotherapy
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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