LONDON, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- In the next decade, breast cancer cases could double in Africa if action is not taken, according to a study released on Wednesday by the University of Edinburgh.
Researchers at the university examined a total of 41 previous studies across 22 African countries.
They found that rates of this disease are likely to increase in the region amid population growth, unhealthy lifestyles, poor health infrastructure and lack of education for women.
The team suggest that the trend could be halted if data collection and patient registration were improved.
For the time being, poor funding, a shortage of skilled practitioners and lack of urgency on the part of governments are challenging the creation and function of cancer registries and databases of affected patients across Africa.
"The prevention and management of breast cancer in Africa requires immediate efforts to improve standardized cancer registration in order to calculate cancer incidence rates," said Kit Chan, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh.
"Only then will we be able to determine if advanced stages of breast cancer in Africa could be linked to unique biological characteristics in populations and only then will we be able to halt breast cancer rates," added Kit Chan.
Cancer is a leading cause of illness and death among women around the world, and young African women are twice as likely to die from breast cancer than those in high-income countries, according to the study.