Cancer Treatment and Care
Multidisciplinary care forms a cornerstone for cancer control, and access to essential surgery, radiotherapy, and essential medicines - both curative and palliative - are critical components.
Since 2015, a number of important publications have emerged that make the case for returns on investment in cancer control, and support delivery of the global non-communicable disease (NCD) target of 80 percent availability of essential NCD medicines and technologies. The WHO Model List of Essential Medicines was updated to include an additional 16 cancer medicines, bringing the total to 46. The Lancet Oncology Commissions on Radiotherapy and Global Cancer Surgery, recently launched in partnership with UICC, emphasise the need for increased access to safe, affordable and timely cancer radiotherapy and surgery, and demonstrate that provision of effective cancer services across the continuum of care is feasible and affordable across all resource settings. Additionally, the Lancet Commission Report on Essential Medicines for Universal Health Coverage was launched recently, summarising lessons learned from the first 30 years of essential medicines policy development and implementation.
The Global Task Force on Radiotherapy for Cancer Control (GTFRCC), an initiative of the UICC board to recognise radiation therapy as an essential tool in the cure and palliation of cancer, was a major force behind the Lancet Oncology Commission on Radiotherapy, and continues to guide global discourse around how we can reduce inequities in access to radiotherapy technologies. Most recently, UICC has worked with the GTFRCC to develop a four-page brief on the Lancet Oncology Commission on Radiotherapy summarising the key findings and advocacy messages.
UICC will be using these materials to engage with policy makers to improve understanding that national solutions are possible even with scare resources, encouraging the development and implementation of plans in each of the critical components of a multidisciplinary approach.