Background: “Early detection save lives” is a common and almost universal slogan for promoting cancer screening world-wide. Doubtlessly, early detection of cancer can save lives when the detection is followed with appropriate interventions. Conversely, when early detection is not followed with appropriate intervention(s), then it becomes effort in futility. Therefore, we are advocating that the slogan should change from early detection save lives to early intervention save lives, particularly, for resource- constraints settings where we have evidence that early detection might not be followed with appropriate interventions as exemplified by this case report. The paper sets out to x-ray challenges of oncology care in resource-constraint environment and to emphasise the fact that cancer prevention goes beyond detection.
Materials and Methods: Using the case report of a breast cancer patient that was detected relatively early without appropriate intervention, we did a critical analysis of state of oncology care from prevention services to palliative care in a resources-constraint environment, drawing heavily from local experiences in cancer management.
Results: The paper revealed the challenges of oncology care from preventive services to palliative care in a resource-constraint environment. Locally applicable recommendations aimed at optimizing the available resources and simultaneously, reducing cancer related morbidity and mortality should be strongly considered.
Conclusion: A cancer prevention and control service is a comprehensive package in which early detection is a major component. For early detection of cancer to save lives, it has to be followed by appropriate interventions. In recognition of this fact, we are advocating a change in the slogan from “early detection save lives” to “early intervention save lives” based on our local experience which is seen in most developing countries that are hugely challenged by resource-constraints.