B05
Anthropological contributions to understanding the Global Cancer Divide

Convenors:
Belinda Spagnoletti (University of Melbourne)
Linda Bennett (University of Melbourne)
Lenore Manderson (University of the Witwatersrand)
Discussant:
Anna Lora-Wainwright (University of Oxford)
Stream:
Identities and Subjectivities
Location:
Elizabeth Fry 01.05
Sessions:
Wednesday 4 September, 9:00-10:30, 11:00-12:30, 16:00-17:30

Short abstract:

This panel features anthropological contributions that investigate the Global Cancer Divide. Papers will explore culturally specific and gendered experiences of cancer, survivorship, vulnerability and resilience, biosociality, and gaps between patient needs and health system responses.

Long abstract:

Annually, over 4 million premature deaths are caused by cancer. Up to 80% of those deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC); poor and marginalised people in high income settings are also vulnerable. The presentations will focus on the manifold causes of and potential solutions to address the complex inequities of what is referred to as the Global Cancer Divide. Participants will interrogate the challenges associated with this, by exploring: the experiences of people living with and surviving cancer in resource poor communities and countries; how public health responses to cancer are shaped by biomedicine and other dominant morality complexes; the ways in which support for people living with cancer can be mobilised in the absence of strong health systems, including the contributions of grassroots organisations; the existence of local patterns of resilience in relation to cancer; and how culturally embedded complexes of stigma and fear influence people's lived experiences of cancer. Contributors will engage with the intersections of different inequalities that result in the incidence and outcomes of cancer in LMIC especially, including the poorer rates of cancer survival in resource poor settings. Presentations will explore: culturally specific and gendered understandings and experiences of cancer and survivorship; cancer vulnerability and resilience from a life course perspective (from pre-cancer to post-survivorship); the creation of biosociality around cancer diagnosis and survivorship; and the gaps between the needs of cancer patients and health system capacity and orientation.