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Uganda’s Breast Cancer Treatment Lagging But Women Beginning To Organize To Bring About Changes

Following a New York Times feature story on breast cancer in Uganda, journalist Denise Grady writes about the issue in the newspaper’s “Reporters Notebook.” “There’s a lot of hand-wringing in Uganda about the fact that most breast cancer here is diagnosed late, after it has begun to spread, when there is little or no chance of curing it,” she states. “Much of the problem is chalked up to women’s failure to see a doctor soon enough, because of ignorance, shame or being too poor to afford treatment or even bus fare to the clinic,” she continues, but one of the clinics she visited in Mulago “is daunting and demoralizing, emblematic of a deeper problem: when women do seek help, Uganda’s sluggish, inefficient health system throws up one obstacle after another — endless waits, drug shortages, lost lab tests, unexpected fees.” She notes, “The survival rates for women with breast cancer in poor countries like Uganda are far lower than those in developed countries, according to the [WHO].” Grady writes about how women are beginning to organize into support and advocacy groups to push for better treatment (10/28).