Cancer Care and Control as a Human Right: Recognizing Global Oncology as an Academic Field

Alexandru E. Eniu, Yehoda M. Martei, Edward Trimble, Lawrence N. Shulman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The global burden of cancer incidence and mortality is on the rise. There are major differences in cancer fatality rates due to profound disparities in the burden and resource allocation for cancer care and control in developed compared with developing countries. The right to cancer care and control should be a human right accessible to all patients with cancer, regardless of geographic or economic region, to avoid unnecessary deaths and suffering from cancer. National cancer planning should include an integrated approach that incorporates a continuum of education, prevention, cancer diagnostics, treatment, survivorship, and palliative care. Global oncology as an academic field should offer the knowledge and skills needed to efficiently assess situations and work on solutions, in close partnership. We need medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, pediatric oncologists, gynecologic oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists trained to think about well-tailored resource-stratified solutions to cancer care in the developing world. Moreover, the multidisciplinary fundamental team approach needed to treat most neoplastic diseases requires coordinated investment in several areas. Current innovative approaches have relied on partnerships between academic institutions in developed countries and local governments and ministries of health in developing countries to provide the expertise needed to implement effective cancer control programs. Global oncology is a viable and necessary field that needs to be emphasized because of its critical role in proposing not only solutions in developing countries, but also solutions that can be applied to similar challenges of access to cancer care and control faced by underserved populations in developed countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting
Volume37
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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