Once thought to be a disease that strikes primarily affluent women in industrialized countries, breast cancer is emerging as a significant problem in developing countries. Among young women in particular, the disease is one of the principal causes of death in middle-income nations. Further, case fatality rates are inversely related to the level of development of countries. Diagnosis in late stages is much more common than in wealthier nations, making treatment — when available — much less effective.
To draw attention to the under-recognized and growing problem, a Harvard-led team of experts convened a multi-day meeting of approximately 400 oncologists, public health experts, advocates, and international figures from 37 countries, November 3 to 5, in Boston.