Published today in ESMO Open the article ‘Global Cancer Control: Responding to the Growing Burden, Rising Costs and Inequalities in Access’ reflects the vision of the 2016 ESMO Leadership Generation Programme participants and was written together with the ESMO leadership, and Global Policy Committee, on what needs to be done to improve cancer care globally. It contains policy recommendations and concrete actions governments can take towards achieving the goals of the landmark World Health Assembly Resolution on ‘Cancer prevention and control within an integrated approach’ adopted unanimously by the 194 WHO Member States in May 2017.
This article addresses key topics such as cancer prevention, timely access to treatment and care, palliative and survivorship care, and comprehensive data collection through robust cancer registries. It supports other WHO and United Nations commitments to global cancer control such as the 2013-2020 WHO Global Action Plan on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases and the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development. The guiding principles of these WHO and UN documents is that health is a basic human right, and to respect that right, health services need to be provided through a Universal Health Coverage system that leaves no one behind. The ESMO 2020 Vision shares these principles and states that high quality care should be both available and affordable to everyone everywhere.
Public policy effect the profession and practice of medical oncology. The way that health systems are structured, the services that they offer, the competencies and training requirements of their workforce, the quality standards of their treatment of patients, and the robustness of cancer registry data are all public policy issues aimed at improving patient outcomes.