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Building on our history providing specialized cancer care and treatment in Tanzania, IMA is addressing the growing need for quality NCD interventions. IMA is currently implementing programs to prevent and treat two significant cancers affecting women and children - Burkitt’s Lymphoma and cervical cancer.
Burkitt’s Lymphoma is a common childhood cancer affecting young children in malaria endemic areas. The median age of the children infected with this cancer is between five and eight years of age. According to Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) in Tanzania, it is estimated that this disease accounts for approximately 700 new cases of pediatric cancer annually of which only an estimated 200 access medical attention through the National Cancer Treatment Program. The signs of Burkitt’s Lymphoma are a swift onset and rapid growth of tumors on the face and abdomen, which can cause fatal outcomes in young children with untold grief and suffering in families affected. Fortunately, Burkitt’s Lymphoma is a highly treatable cancer if treated promptly and appropriately.
Experiencing one of the world’s highest cervical cancer burdens, Tanzania has the highest prevalence rate of cervical cancer in East Africa with approximately 33% of women at risk. In 2009, cervical cancer accounted for more than a third of all cancer patients seen at ORCI. The vast majority of patients are seen during the late stages of the disease, which considerably reduces the chances of survival. This problem is compounded by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Tanzania. Being HIV positive increases the risk of developing cervical cancer by at least 50% as well as an earlier onset of the disease by 10 years.
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