Stigma: The Unspoken Challenge for Cancer & Other Non-communicable Diseases


Last November marked the second anniversary of the United Nations High-Level Meeting on non-communicable diseases, only the second time since the one held on HIV/AIDs. Guest post writers Loyce Pace Bass and Rebekkah Schear at the LIVESTRONG Foundation write about the stigmas associated with NCDs and challenges faced by patients.

Bass and Schear write, “In an effort to better understand the nature of cancer-related stigma and its impacts, the LIVESTRONG Foundation conducted 18 months of global research across ten countries and discovered that, while 78% of respondents would tell their families if they were diagnosed with cancer, only 34% would tell their friends, and only 14% would tell “everyone.” Our research illustrated that people view cancer as a death sentence and this belief is impacting their ability to receive treatment and support. In fact, the data showed that far more people chose fear of the result as the reason for not getting screened for cancer than all other answers (including lack of access to care and the cost of screening). This becomes a self-fulfilling cycle, as those who delay diagnosis often only come to receive care when their cancer is at an incurable stage.”

Read the full post via the Global Health Council website