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The impact of armed conflict on cancer among civilian populations in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review

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Title: The impact of armed conflict on cancer among civilian populations in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review
Authors: Jawad, M
Millett, C
Sullivan, R
Alturki, F
Roberts, B
Vamos, E
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Commitee On Publication Ethics ecancermedicalscience Submit article Articles Editorials Special issues Author interviews Category Sub-category Article type Volume Keyword Bookmark and Share Article metrics: 204 views https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2020.1039 Abstract | Full Article | PDF Review The impact of armed conflict on cancer among civilian populations in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review Mohammed Jawad1, Christopher Millett1, Richard Sullivan2, Fadel Alturki3, Bayard Roberts4 and Eszter P Vamos1 1Public Health Policy Evaluation Unit, Imperial College London, Hammersmith, London W6 8RP, UK 2Institute of Cancer Policy, Cancer Epidemiology, Population and Global Health, King's College London and Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Trust, London, UK 3Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Lebanon 4Department of Health Services Research and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1H 9SH, UK Abstract Background: Armed conflicts are increasingly impacting countries with a high burden of cancer. The aim of this study is to systematically review the literature on the impact of armed conflict on cancer in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Methods: In November 2019, we searched five medical databases (Embase, Medline, Global Health, PsychINFO and the Web of Science) without date, language or study design restrictions. We included studies assessing the association between armed conflict and any cancer among civilian populations in LMICs. We systematically re-analysed the data from original studies and assessed quality using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Data were analysed descriptively by cancer site. Results: Of 1,543 citations screened, we included 20 studies assessing 8 armed conflicts and 13 site-specific cancers (total study population: 70,172). Two-thirds of the studies were of low methodological quality (score <5) and their findings were often conflicting. However, among outcomes assessed by three or more studies, we found some evidence that armed conflict was associated with increases in the incidence and mortality of non-specific cancers, breast cancer and cervical cancer. Single studies reported a positive association between armed conflict and the incidence of stomach and testicular cancers, some as early as 3 years after the onset of conflict. Some studies reported a post-conflict impact on time to diagnosis. Conclusion: Our findings support the need for more rigorous longitudinal and cohort studies of populations in and immediately post-conflict to inform the development of basic packages of cancer services, and post-conflict cancer control planning and development.
Issue Date: 8-May-2020
Date of Acceptance: 23-Apr-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/79795
DOI: 10.3332/ecancer.2020.1039
ISSN: 1754-6605
Publisher: Cancer Intelligence
Journal / Book Title: Ecancermedicalscience
Volume: 14
Copyright Statement: © the authors; licensee ecancermedicalscience. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: Medical Research Council
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN 1039
Appears in Collections:School of Public Health