Fighting Global Disparities in Cancer Care: A Surgical Oncology View

Harald J. Hoekstra, Theo Wobbes, Erik Heineman, Samuel Haryono, Teguh Aryandono, Charles M. Balch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally after cardiovascular disease. Long-term cancer survival has improved in the Western world due to early detection and the use of effective combined treatment modalities, as well as the development of effective immunotherapy and drug-targeted therapy. Surgery is still the mainstay for most solid tumors; however, low- and middle-income countries are facing an increasing lack of primary surgical care for easily treatable conditions, including breast, colon, and head and neck cancers. In this paper, a surgical oncology view is presented to elaborate how the Western surgical oncologist can take part in the ‘surgical fight’ against global disparities in cancer care, and a plea is made to strive for structural solutions, such as a partnership in surgical oncology training. The pros and cons of the use of eHealth and mHealth technologies and education programs for schools and the community are discussed as these create an opportunity to reach a large portion of the population in these countries, at low cost and with high impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2131-2136
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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