Every 4th february the world unifies to celebrate World Cancer Day. The theme of the 2022 World Cancer Day is ‘close the care gap’. This 3 year campaign is initiated to find the inequities in cancer care which includes income, education,location, race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, and lifestyle, all of these factors can negatively impact cancer care. This campaign also aims to raise awareness and help ensure all people around the world can access high-quality cancer care.
Different people have different experiences with cancer treatment, care and survival. What can be done to fix them is the big question that needs an answer.
Close the care gap means to confront the inequities that people face, when they seek cancer care. It’s important to join hands with UICC to close the cancer care gap, to ensure every patient receives proper cancer care irrespective of inequities.
What are cancer care gaps in India –
- Low Cancer Literacy – General masses lack awareness about Cancer leading to hesitation towards diagnosis and proper cancer treatment
- Increasing Cancer Burden – Number of cancer patients are increasing every year and expected to reach 1.57M by the end of 2025
- Scarcity of Oncologist & Specialty Care Centers – In India we have just 1 Oncologist per 2000 patients on an average and very low no of specialty care centers
- Insufficient Patient Engagement & Quality Of Life – Most often patients ignore the warning signs. QoL is deteriorating with the rising social pressure, psychological and physiological concerns
- Lack of Evidence based care -Timely and Intelligent interpretation of data is the need of hour to produce evidence based care sorely lacking in India.
The goal is simple: health equity now
The cancer care gap is not inevitable. Our systems can be reimagined, a person’s situation can be improved, their knowledge about cancer can be increased and their access to services made easier.
Collectively, we can reduce inequity by:
- educating the public about cancer prevention;
- equipping healthcare professionals with skills and knowledge including about how inequity influences cancer care;
- strengthening primary health care delivered in communities;
- addressing through policy and programmes some of the social and economic factors that can negatively affect people’s health;
- increasing the resources – meaning both money and people – dedicated to cancer research, and tracking the burden of cancer nationally to more effectively shape our investments;
- implementing country-specific cancer prevention and control plans that address each country’s unique needs and resources.
Credit – https://www.worldcancerday.org/about/2022-2024-world-cancer-day-campaign
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