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6th Feb, 2024

Who you are and where you live should not determine if you live


World Cancer Day 2024 rings an alarm on a critical issue: the need to “Close the Care Gap.” The care gap in cancer is a multifaceted challenge that encompasses various aspects, including access to healthcare, early detection, treatment options, and support systems.

Did you know that globally, over 70% of cancer-related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries? Access to cancer care shouldn’t be a luxury, yet millions face barriers hindering timely diagnosis and treatment. Closing the care gap is not just a goal; it’s a necessity! Closing the cancer care gap isn’t really about simply providing everyone with equal resources.  It is about giving everyone what they really need in order to enjoy similar outcomes in terms of healing. Each Cancer challenge demands a different solution and therefore we must endeavor for equity in care. The equity gap is a reality for all countries everywhere, but what really leads to this difference? Let’s go through some of the facts for the same.

  1. Cancer treatment is reportedly available in more than 90% of high-income countries but less than 15% of low-income countries. 
  2. Childhood cancer survival rates are over 80% in high-income countries but as low as 20% in low-income countries.
  3. Cancer kills nearly 10 million people a year and some 70% of those are aged 65 or older, yet older populations face disproportionate barriers to effective treatment.
  4. Due to discrimination from healthcare practitioners, cancer screening among transgender people is lower than the rest of the population.

Inequity is just not limited to income disparity. It affects people from all walks of life. The first step is being able to recognize inequity when we see it. Only then can we begin to challenge our own assumptions and biases. Listen to the perspective of people living with cancer and let us fight to close these gaps, once and for all.