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Opinion Pieces Recognize World Cancer Day, Discuss Prevention, Treatment Access Challenges, Opportunities

Devex: Opinion: 70 percent of cancer deaths happen in developing countries. We need to fix access gaps.
Cary Adams, CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control, and Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance

“…Low- to middle-income countries are bearing the brunt of [the cancer burden]. Approximately 70 percent of cancer deaths occur in developing countries, which are the most ill-equipped to cope with this burden. … If we aim to meet our pledge to avoid so many premature deaths from cancer, a strong committed response from national governments will be key. … We must continue to position cancer in the broader health and development agenda, especially around the issue of universal health coverage, and make the case for cancer to receive adequate funding. These global cancer commitments need to translate into national action. … Let World Cancer Day draw a line in the sand and let 2018 be known as the year that we began to close the treatment access gap at the national level. Let’s set ourselves firmly on the way to ensuring that at the very least, everyone living with cancer receives basic supportive and palliative care services” (2/2).

The Lancet: The global fight against cancer: challenges and opportunities
Rifat Atun of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School and Franco Cavalli of the European School of Oncology and Institute of Oncology Research, Università della Svizzera Italiana

“…Globally, there is a shortfall in coverage of cancer services for prevention, screening, treatment, and palliative care. If cost-effective interventions for cancer screening, prevention, and treatment were delivered through strengthened health systems, they could help largely avoid many premature deaths, unnecessary suffering, and unacceptable inequalities. Yet these interventions are not reaching those in need and the opportunity to close the equity divide is not realized. … An inclusive and coordinated response for a large-scale global response to fight cancer is overdue. Further delays will mean needless deaths, worsening inequities, and a failure to realize health, economic, and societal benefits” (2/3).

The Hill: World Cancer Day 2018 — addressing Africa’s emerging needs
Dan A. Milner Jr., chief medical officer of the American Society for Clinical Pathology

“…As sub-Saharan Africa makes impressive progress in dealing with infectious diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, the region faces rapidly growing challenges associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) — including cancer. … While the need to battle infectious diseases continues, it is possible to simultaneously address the impact of cancer and other NCDs. … With new health centers, stronger supply chains for delivering medicines to low-income countries, better laboratory networks, and legions of newly trained health care workers, many sub-Saharan countries have the tools necessary for success against NCDs. New facilities and capacities can be adapted and enhanced to address cancer. … It’s time we recognize the growing threat of cancer and similarly commit to bold solutions” (2/4).

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