Physicians can help address global burden of cancer inequality


Globally, cancer deaths express global inequity. Cancer disease burden is concentrated in low- and middle-income countries, where high costs of treatment leave resource-constrained governments unable to address cancer in their populations.

While prevention lacks the social visibility and market appeal of treatment, up to half of cancers are preventable. Physicians and other members of the medical community can work together to help close the equity gap.

Ethics in Health Care

Explore the AMA Journal of Ethics for articles, podcasts and polls that focus on ethical issues that affect physicans, physicians-in-training and their patients.

The February issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics® (@JournalofEthics) features numerous perspectives exploring the ethical complexities of cancer prevention as a global public health imperative and gives you an opportunity to earn CME credit.

  1. Malignant Disparity and the Ethics of Global Cancer Prevention

    1. Most cancer deaths happen in low- and middle-income countries. Up to half of cancers are preventable, but several issues challenge prioritization of prevention, so it remains neglected.
  2. How Should Vaccine Campaigns Balance Need for Clear Communication Against Need for Timely Administration of Large-Scale Programs?

    1. Limited understanding of disease etiology often leads to resistance, which can result in low vaccine uptake.
  3. How Should Physicians in Low- and Middle-Income Countries Regard Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems to Facilitate Smoking Cessation?

    1. Vaping has been thought to be a safe, effective smoking cessation aid, but little evidence supports its value in mitigating tobacco use.
  4. When Is a Suboptimal Approach to Cancer Screening Better Than None?

    1. Mortality rates for breast cancer are higher where treatments are unavailable and unaffordable. Though less effective, breast examination could be a good screening approach.

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In the journal’s February podcast, transgender advocate and author Ryan K. Sallans, MA, discusses his experience accessing health care as a transman and offers guidance to those caring for anyone with a cervix.

Sallans serves as the lead subject-matter expert consultant for Affiliate Risk Management Services in the development of e-learning courses for health care professionals seeking continuing education in LGBTQ health care.

Listen to previous episodes of the podcast, “Ethics Talk,” or subscribe in iTunes or other services.

The AMA Journal of Ethics CME modules, “How Should Cervical Cancer Prevention Be Improved in LMICs?” and “How Should Low- and Middle-Income Countries Motivate Equity in Cancer Prevention and Control?” are each designated by the AMA for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.   

Additionally, the CME module, “Ethics Talk: Providing Compassionate Care for Transmen,” is designated by the AMA for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

The offerings are part of the AMA Ed Hub™, an online platform that brings together high-quality CME, maintenance of certification, and educational content—in one place—with relevant learning activities, automated credit tracking and reporting for some states and specialty boards.   

Learn more about AMA CME accreditation. 

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The journal’s editorial focus is on commentaries and articles that offer practical advice and insights for medical students and physicians. Submit a manuscript for publication. The journal also invites original photographs, graphics, cartoons, drawings and paintings that explore the ethical dimensions of health or health care.

Upcoming issues of the AMA Journal of Ethics will focus on wielding organizational influence in health care and anesthesiologist-surgeon relationships. Sign up to receive email alerts when new issues are published.