The rapid ageing of populations around the world has important societal, economic and public health implications. While longevity in itself is a success story, ageing societies bring key challenges for health systems stemming from the growing prevalence of chronic diseases, increased likelihood of multiple conditions and need for long-term care.
With recent research estimating the number of new cancer diagnoses to triple by 2050 worldwide due to population ageing, the urgency of adapting the public health response in the face of this demographic transformation is even more glaring within the context of cancer control.
Following the Special Focus Dialogue on Caring for older cancer patients during COVID-19, this second discussion in the Ageing and Cancer series brings together key experts from international bodies, government, academia and public health to take the ‘long view’ on reshaping cancer control for the needs of ageing societies.
Yvonne Arivalagan is a public policy researcher and consultant specialising in population ageing and healthcare. Yvonne was a Fellow with the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Longevity during the 2019-2020 term, where she worked to promote healthy ageing on the global policy agenda. As a former Research Associate at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, she led numerous projects including a report on end-of-life policies and was also a contributor to the book Ageing in Asia: Contemporary Trends and Policy Issues. Yvonne has provided technical assistance training to government officials from 32 low- and middle-income countries on issues pertaining to population ageing under the Singapore Cooperation Programme.
Ravindran Kanesvaran is a Consultant in the Department of Medical Oncology of the National Cancer Centre Singapore. He is also an Assistant Professor at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and clinical senior lecturer at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. He is actively involved in graduate medical education and is a core faculty member of the Medical Oncology Senior Residency Program and the Singhealth Internal Medicine Residency Program. He currently serves as President of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG).
Sophie Pilleron is an epidemiologist currently affiliated with the Big Data Institute at the University of Oxford. Sophie just recently returned from New Zealand, where she was a visiting researcher at the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago. She previously worked, and still collaborates, with the International Agency for Research on Cancer, especially on the description of cancer burden in older populations at global level. She was awarded the prestigious Marie S. Curie Individual fellowship from the European Commission to describe age disparities in colon and lung cancer survival in New Zealand and England.
Yuka Sumi is the Medical Officer, Ageing and Health, at the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child & Adolescent Health and Ageing (MCA), UHC life course, at the World Health Organization (WHO). She is responsible for WHO Integrated Care for Older People (ICOPE) approach and leads the secretariat of WHO Clinical Consortium on Healthy ageing (CCHA) to contribute to the development of standards and guidelines on the clinical aspects of Healthy Ageing. Yuka holds an MD from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine and a PhD from Osaka University, Japan. She is a certified specialist of Acute and Critical Care Medicine at the Japan Surgical Society.