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Inside the Lab Digital and computational pathology, Oncology

Better Breast Cancer Care for All

Sadaf Sarfraz

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women all over the world – but not all women receive the same level of care. Both digital pathology and translational medicine hold great potential to improve breast cancer outcomes for all patients – particularly those in low- and middle-income countries.

Breast cancer is a major health concern globally. High-income countries have access to advanced technologies and resources for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Low and middle-income countries lack the level of access to high-quality diagnoses, which can lead to poor outcomes for patients. Digital pathology and translational medicine have the potential to address some of these challenges, but their use in low and medium countries is not without limitations and challenges.

Muhammad Mustafa

For example, in countries where access to medical professionals is limited, digital pathology can allow samples to be analyzed remotely. Patients can receive diagnosis remarks or a second opinion even if there is no pathologist available. This is specifically important for breast cancer cases, where early detection is critical for successful treatment. Leveraging digital technologies and scientific discoveries will achieve better treatment plans and ultimate cures regardless of geographic location or access to resources.

Similarly, translational medicine improves the prognosis of breast cancer in low and medium-income countries. It can do so by bringing the latest discoveries in cancer research in collaboration with international partners to identify new biomarkers or mutations that can be targeted with drugs thus implementing more effective and personalized breast cancer treatment.

The limitation to the implementation of digital pathology and translational medicine in low and medium-income countries is the lack of resources and infrastructure. The cost of implementing digital pathology can be prohibitive for many health facilitators. The lack of electricity and reliable internet connection facilities pose a problem in some areas. Language and cultural barriers make it difficult to access people in many locations.

In conclusion, digital pathology and translational medicine have the potential to revolutionize the way we approach breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in low and medium-income countries by improving the access to accurate diagnosis and the latest treatments. We can help women to overcome this devastating disease and live healthy lives with continued investment and research. We can work toward a future where breast cancer patients in low and medium-income countries have the access to the best and most effective treatments improving the quality of life for every female equally across high to low-income countries.

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About the Authors
Sadaf Sarfraz

M.Phil. Molecular pathology and genomics, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University).

Muhammad Mustafa

Assistant Professor, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University).

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