LUGANO, Switzerland – The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) supports World Cancer Day, an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). A truly global event taking place every year on 4 February, World Cancer Day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.
Millions of people worldwide face unequal access to cancer detection, treatment and care services. “The global target of a 25% reduction in premature deaths from cancer and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 2025 as stated in the WHO global plan is possible,” said Josep Tabernero, ESMO President. “However, to deliver on this global commitment, the current inequities in risk factor exposure, and in access to screening, early detection and timely and appropriate treatment and care, must be addressed.”
Under the tagline “We can. I can.”, World Cancer Day explores how everyone – as a collective or as individuals – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.
Just as cancer affects everyone in different ways, all people have the power to take various actions to reduce the impact that cancer has on individuals, families and communities. And so does ESMO.
As the leading professional organisation for medical oncology, ESMO fosters integrated cancer care, supports oncologists in their professional development, and strongly advocates for sustainable cancer care worldwide to obtain the best possible outcomes for people with cancer.
Working collaboratively, amplifying the voice of the oncology community at political level, ESMO strives to shape health policies towards facilitating equitable access to optimal, affordable care.
Concretely, in 2017 ESMO published a report on shortages of cancer medicines (1), in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit. The report shed much-needed light on a little-known problem – the shortage of inexpensive, essential medicines in many European countries – and set out a series of concrete actions to address this problem.
ESMO also played its part in bringing about the 2017 WHO Cancer Resolution, which was adopted unanimously during the 70th World Health Assembly in May 2017. The Resolution – which marked the culmination of a 15-year collaboration between ESMO and the World Health Organization – will ensure cancer remains at the heart of the global health agenda for many years to come.
“These are just two significant examples of the many actions ESMO has undertaken and is committed to at present and in the future, with the ultimate goal of facilitating equal access to the latest advances in treatment and care for our patients,” said Tabernero. “We must ensure that an increasing number of patients can access the very best cancer medicines, irrespective of where they live: initiatives such as World Cancer Day are a great opportunity to raise the question, make people realise that cancer is a global burden and must be tackled at a global level.”
To mark World Cancer Day ESMO planned a series of awareness activities on its social media channels and the website. Check them out here: http://bit.ly/2GHD8jA
- Cancer medicines shortage in Europe. Policy recommendations to prevent and manage shortages. A report by The Economist Intelligence Unit Supported by the European Society for Medical Oncology. 2017
About the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)
ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology. With 17,000 members representing oncology professionals from 150 countries worldwide, ESMO is the society of reference for oncology education and information. We are committed to supporting our members to develop and advance in a fast-evolving professional environment.
About World Cancer Day
To learn more about World Cancer Day visit www.worldcancerday.org