“It’s important for primary care providers to know what’s available and what’s happening in the oncology space,” said Dr Bassa, who is the current head of radiation oncology at Steve Biko Academic Hospital. In 2020, South Africa had 108 000 new cancer cases, of which lung, breast, cervical and prostate cancer were the most prevalent.
“In general, we are seeing rates of breast cancer overtake rates of cervical cancer,” Dr Bassa said, “possibly due to the success of HPV vaccination initiatives. However, the full impact of our anti-HPV programme is not expected to be felt for a good three decades.”
Among women, the adoption of a more Western diet in South Africa is leading to higher rates of uterine cancer. However, in terms of mortality, cervical cancer is still the leading cause of death among South African women. This is also due to the high incidence of HIV-coinfection among women with cervical cancer.
Could targeted therapies eventually turn cancer into a chronic condition? How effective (and expensive) are immunotherapies? What are oncolytic viruses? These and many more questions are answered in the full, one-and-a-half-hour presentation (accredited for 1 CPD point), viewable here: https://vimeo.com/887159936.