Lindsay Miller

Validating the cancer registry in Blantyre, Malawi

Cancer is a major worldwide cause of morbidity and mortality, but little is known about the incidence or the epidemiology of the disease in Africa. One of the countries with limited data on the burden of cancer in the country is Malawi. Malawi has a population-based cancer registry located in Blantyre, which covers the population of urban and rural Blantyre. Recent data has shown that there may be a lower-than-expected incidence of and proportion compared to other cancers of breast cancer in Malawi. However, there is evidence that the Malawi Cancer Registry lacks some specific data. Thus, it is not known how much of this registry information is accurate. In order to better understand how cancer is affecting Malawi, the current state of the population-based Malawi Cancer Registry needs to be assessed. By assessing the registry, we can begin to understand the extent to which it underestimates the burden of cancer in Malawi and additionally, we can verify the state of breast cancer in Malawi. If indeed breast cancer rates are low, that is an anomaly in Sub-Saharan Africa and there is opportunity for further research into possible causal factors. If the registry is in fact underestimating the country’s burden of breast cancer, that would be important to know for establishing policy and allocating funds toward the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. 

About Lindsay
Lindsay graduated from Colgate University in 2011 with a B.A. in Biology and a minor in Creative Writing. She graduated from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2013 with an MPH in Epidemiology/International Health.