Using Implementation Science to Advance Cancer Prevention in India


Oral, cervical and breast cancers, which are either preventable and/or amenable to early detection andtreatment, are the leading causes of cancer-related morbidity and mortality in India. In this paper, we describeimplementation science research priorities to catalyze the prevention and control of these cancers in India.Research priorities were organized using a framework based on the implementation science literature and theWorld Health Organization’s definition of health systems. They addressed both community-level as well as healthsystems-level issues. Community-level or “pull” priorities included the need to identify effective strategies toraise public awareness and understanding of cancer prevention, monitor knowledge levels, and address fearand stigma. Health systems-level or “push” and “infrastructure” priorities included dissemination of evidencebasedpractices, testing of point-of-care technologies for screening and diagnosis, identification of appropriateservice delivery and financing models, and assessment of strategies to enhance the health workforce. Given theextent of available evidence, it is critical that cancer prevention and treatment efforts in India are accelerated.Implementation science research can generate critical insights and evidence to inform this acceleration.