Global Oncology 2013: Disparities in Cancer Care 

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While much progress has been made against cancer over the last century, a new report1 presented at the 2013 European Cancer Congress brings together evidence that not every patient benefits from it, nor even has the opportunity to benefit. The economics of cancer are daunting and the current model of financing is broken, said Professor Peter Boyle, in a presentation on “The State of Oncology.” Dr. Boyle is President of the International Prevention Research Institute (Lyon, France) and Director of the Institute of Global Public Health of the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, United Kingdom, and Lyon, France).

“Many parts of the world are already unable to cope and are totally unprepared for the future growth of cancer. In lower-resource countries, for many patients the stigma associated with cancer leads them to seek alternative care, and if they do present to medical services they do so frequently when the disease is advanced,” Professor Boyle said.

“The rights of cancer patients can be achieved by implementing and adhering to what we call the four pillars of oncology: prevent all cancers that can be prevented; treat all cancers that can be treated; cure all cancers that can be cured; and provide palliation whenever palliation is required.”

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Disclosure: The “State of Oncology 2013” report was based on the contributions of four overall project leaders, seven regional leaders, and over 100 medical scientists who described the state of oncology in over 50 countries. It is a noncommercial, editorially independent work, which has been supported by the International Prevention Research Institute, the World Prevention Alliance, and an unrestricted educational grant from Roche. 


1. Boyle P, et al: State of Oncology 2013. Abstract 1401. Presented at the 2013 European Cancer Congress, September 29, 2013. 




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